Since the beginning of industrialization and mechanization, conveyor belts have been the centerpiece in driving and carrying the heavyweights on the production floor. Even though necessity has engineered them into one of the most efficient and safe tools of the modern day industrial world, there’s still a couple of things you have to do to stay safe when working around them.
While some protective sheet covers most conveyor belts, some belts running through interactive areas are uncovered. Such a tabletop conveyor could be a hazard if you don’t follow these basic safety rules.
Keep Loose Clothing and Hair Out of the Way
A moving conveyor belt can easily snag loose strings, hair or clothes and tug on it, causing severe injury. This is why most factories insist on overall protective clothing and hats to keep the hair out of the way. Observing this will increase your safety when working near the conveyor belt. The other things that should be avoided:
• Bracelets, rings, watches and other jewelry
• Leaving your work clothes hanging or baggy
• Not removing neckties or tucking them safely into your shirt when going to the production floor.
Inspect Conveyor Guards and Make Sure They are in Place
Even tabletop conveyors have some guards over the most critical geared sections and the drive sections. Sometimes, it is easy to ignore conveyor guards since most belts can still work even with the guards missing. So make sure that belts, chains, gears and other moving parts are well-protected before letting anyone near you conveyor belts.
• Employees should be forbidden from altering, bypassing or removing conveyor guards
• Make sure all guard openings are sufficient to keep employees from entering dangerous areas
• Invest in smart conveyor belts that shut down when they detect any resistance to motion.
Secure Conveyor Belts Before Going in for Cleaning
In most cases, employees are extra careful when operating conveyor belts under normal work conditions. Accidents happen when the cleaning or maintenance crew comes in and skips some standard operating procedures to finish the job early.
Come up with a checklist that your working crew must check before maintenance and run regular training drills to make them understand how necessary these steps are. Some things you can do include the following:
• Use lockout tags to prevent equipment from turning on during maintenance
• Shut off power at the main switch for the control motors to make sure the power doesn’t turn on accidentally
• Two-step startup procedures that need activation from different points will reduce the chances of an accidental activation.
Accidents in factories could lead to workplace injury claims, and these could mean added expenses on your part. However, investing in high-quality conveyor belts and servicing them will increase worker safety and productivity. This will also improve efficiency as there will be fewer hiccups in production. This is what every company or production house needs to stay in business, make better profits, and keep their workers happy.