Material Handling: Three Practical Guidelines on Promoting Conveyor Belt Safety

Conveyor belts are beneficial in commercial and industrial material-handling operations. The installation of a conveyor in your worksite will increase productivity due to efficient handling of bulky or numerous products. In addition, the system will protect the workers in the space from repetitive stress due to manual handling of the merchandise. Unfortunately, a belt conveyor system can also be a dangerous element in the workplace. In simple terms, the setup has multiple moving components which can cause injury to workers. If the proper measures are not taken, the workers could sustain injuries. Therefore, if you have recently set up a conveyor belt in your business, consider using these practical tips to improve safety.

Install the Right Guards You should choose the right guards for your belt conveyor system to ensure optimal safety and maximum efficiency in your workplace. In general, you can install fixed or interlocking conveyor guards. Under ideal circumstances, you should purchase fixed guards because they are permanent in design. They can be moved or removed, but this process can only be carried out by skilled technicians. If you install fixed guards, your workers will always be secure. However, permanent guards are not practical for every operation. If you are planning on changing the configuration of your conveyor system in the future, temporary interlocking guards are more appropriate.

Perform Inspections You should perform regular inspections to ensure that your conveyor belt is working as expects. Typically, this type of material-handling system does not fail in an instant. In most cases, the mechanical setup tends to degrade over time due to continued pressure and stress. If the problems are not resolved during their early stages, the conveyor will eventually fail and cause serious accidents and injuries. Therefore, you should schedule inspections by an experienced technician. You should also make sure that the recommended maintenance work is performed. This practice will preserve the belt components, motors and general material handling system, promoting optimal safety.

Establish External Safety Measures Finally, you should have some safety measures in the belt conveyor system workspace. If you install some external security elements to warn workers or indicate danger, you will prevent injuries and fatalities if an unfortunate incident occurs. For example, you can install warning signs to keep the employees more vigilant when moving around in a hazardous area. You should also have an alarm system with sirens and flashing lights to provide warnings. In addition, you should make sure that the default conveyor safety controls are not modified during system installation.