A Closer Look at Conveyor Safety
Span Tech’s Conveyor Safety Rules
According to the United States Department of Labor, conveyors are the primary source of more than 50 workplace fatalities each year. In the unfortunate event that your staff members get injured (or worse) on the job, your company can face legal issues, worker’s comp and other liabilities. Not to mention, your plant can lose out on valuable production time. The best way to keep your team free from harm is by practicing conveyor safety. The Span Tech experts are here to help keep your staff injury-free with the following conveyor safety tips for manufacturing plants.
1. Don’t Sit, Stand or Walk on Conveyors
While this first conveyor safety rule may seem like common sense, it can lead to serious injury if it isn’t followed. People ride conveyors because they don’t realize just how grave the danger can be. Whether they’ve seen it in action movies or they just think it sounds fun, the reality of riding a conveyor is quite unsafe. The main reasoning behind this is because conveyors aren’t designed to hold a human’s weight. They also have pinch points which can catch onto people and cause injuries. Additionally, when people ride conveyors, they can cause the belts to un-track or damage the system. As a result, it’s imperative that your staff never climbs, sits, stands, walks, rides or touches the conveyor line.
2. Refrain from Modifying or Misusing Conveyor Controls
Unqualified personnel should never attempt to modify or disconnect conveyor controls. When this happens, it can create a less safe working environment and put your team at risk. Conveyor controls are part of a larger system, so any changes should be approved by management. Be sure to monitor your controls to ensure no staff member has misused, modified or disconnected them.
3. Follow Lock Out, Tag Out (LOTO) Procedures
LOTO is a very important procedure used in manufacturing settings. It involves making sure dangerous machines like conveyors are properly shut off and not able to be started up again before maintenance is completed. If you fail to do this, your employees are subject to life-threatening injuries. To help your team follow this conveyor safety rule, we recommend appropriately training them and explaining its importance.
4. Keep Loose Items Away From Conveyors
From watches and rings to baggy clothing, it’s crucial for your team to avoid wearing loose items on the job. Pinch points can catch loose items if they’re worn near a conveyor, resulting in serious injury. A great way to implement this conveyor safety rule is to inspect staff members before allowing them near the conveyor line.
5. Alert Management of Any Potential Safety Concerns
If your employees notice a potential hazard on the job, it’s crucial for them to inform management so the issue can be resolved. The main goal should always be to spot and deal with unsafe practices, equipment or people as soon as possible. Employees will be more likely to come forward if you allow them to provide anonymous or non-consequential information submissions.
6. Utilize OSHA Emergency Stops
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), emergency stop requirements for safe conveyor operations are as follows:
- Means for stopping the motor or engine shall be provided at the operator’s station. Conveyor systems shall be equipped with an audible warning signal to be sounded immediately before starting up the conveyor.
- If the operator’s station is at a remote point, similar provisions for stopping the motor or engine shall be provided at the motor or engine location.
- Emergency stop switches shall be arranged so that the conveyor cannot be started again until the actuating stop switch has been reset to running or “on” position.
7. Make Conveyor Safety Training a Priority
Reviewing our conveyor safety rules with your team will help them avoid injuries on the job and keep your plant running smoothly. Provide frequent updates and refresher courses to ensure your employees know the latest on conveyor safety. Whenever your plant has visitors, they should always be informed of conveyor safety standards, as well. Above all, make the notion of preventing unsafe acts part of your company culture.