Conveyor belts are valuable in commercial or industrial environments which handle heavy or bulky goods. These machines increase the efficiency of transporting material around the premises. Also, the use of these systems reduces the risk of employee injury and products damage. However, conveyors are not without their hazards. In simple terms, a typical conveyance setup consists of numerous moving components and heavy loads. If the system is not handled and used with care, the people around will experience serious injuries. If you have recently purchased a conveyor, here are some tips to help you keep your workplace safe.
Check the Load Rating
You should check the load rating of your equipment and provide the information to your workers. In general, conveyor belts are sturdy and can handle heavy loads. However, each product can only support a specific amount of weight per surface area. Exceeding the limits could stress the conveyor, causing damage to components which would, in turn, injure the workers. The exact capacity will depend on the belt speed, the width of the surfaces and the angle of movement. You should make sure that your employees or contract workers will use the system only for the intended applications. Also, you must ensure that there are stringent rules against seating, stepping or riding on the equipment.
Avoid Control Modification
There are multiple controls which are installed to facilitate the proper operation of the conveyor belt systems. These controls are in place to manage the movement and function of the equipment. Sometimes, it is tempting to remove the limitations which the manufacturers have imposed for the safety of the machine, particularly with regard to the operation speed and safety shutoff. While removing the control safeguards will increase the rate of production, the action will compromise the entire workplace. If the conveyor system does malfunction, the workers will have no way to escape. Therefore, you should maintain the machinery in the same state it was built. Also, make sure that an experienced technician conducts all repair and maintenance.
Install Conveyor Guards
Finally, you should install guards and rails before operating the material handling equipment. Conveyors are designed with numerous moving parts which can be hazardous if they come in contact with the workers. For example, the gears have dangerous pinch or nip points while the chains and belts can cause abrasion injuries. Guards and rails will provide a shield against these perils. Additionally, ensure that there are safety nets and mesh rails if the conveyor is an overhead system.