Conveyor Belt General Safety Talk
When used correctly, conveyors can be a safe and efficient way to move materials and supplies throughout a facility. With this increased production comes increased dangers if safety procedures are not followed. Thousands of serious injuries, amputations, and fatalities occur every year as a result of improper use and poor maintenance of conveyors.
Common conveyor belt-related injuries include lacerations, pinching, electrocution, being dragged into the conveyor, being struck by materials, and friction burns. The purpose of this safety talk is to outline general safety procedures to follow when working around conveyors.
Best Practices When Using Conveyor Belts
- Conveyors should never be walked on or under, stood on, or used as transportation.
- Conveyors should only be used to move the materials it was designed to transport.
- Only personnel who have been properly trained should operate or maintain a conveyor.
- Conveyor operators should be aware of all pinch points. Materials should always be safely placed on the conveyor so that they will transport safely. Operators should be alert when removing materials from the conveyor and ensure their hands are safe from pinch points.
- When operating a conveyor, it is important to keep all loose clothing, jewelry, and hair away from the moving parts. Loose articles can easily become caught in the conveyor, resulting in injury to the employee.
- Conveyor guards should never be altered, removed, or bypassed. Conveyor guards are in place to protect the operator from injury and should always be maintained.
- Conveyor controls should be inspected prior to operating the machine to ensure the functions are operating properly.
- Prior to jams being cleared, maintenance, or repairs being performed on the conveyor, lock-out/tag-out procedures should always be followed. Any energy source (i.e. electric or hydraulic) should be disconnected from the conveyor before maintenance is performed. Always refer to the LOTO procedures for the specific equipment being worked on. Training is required to complete these tasks.
- Ensure you are familiar with the startup alarm. If you notice the alarm is no longer working, report this to your supervisor immediately.
- If you see something, say something. Employees should be encouraged to report any misuse of conveyors or defects to prevent injury from occurring.
With the increase in production using conveyors, comes an increased risk for injury if the proper safeguards are not in place. Follow all recommended guidelines set by the manufacturer for the equipment used. Do not deviate from the recommended safe work practices put into place. If conditions change or you are ever unsure about a situation, stop work and contact a supervisor.
- Where is the emergency stop located on your conveyor?
- Who is authorized to repair or maintain the conveyor systems?