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In manufacturing, the image of the conveyor is iconic. However, this industry-defining machine can be dangerous if not handled properly. Use this course as a reference of how to stay safe with conveyors.
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Conveyors are iconic. They define the Industrial Revolution and have changed manufacturing throughout the world. They are instrumental in transporting materials and have evolved to be able to do this vertically, horizontally or at complex angles.
Because of their prevalence, and sometimes speed, hazards have become commonplace in the operations of these machines. However, these hazards vary widely based on their type, location and proximity to workers.
Hazards usually happen when: Cleaning or conducting maintenance on a conveyor while it's still operating. Removing debris or trying to fix a jam. Having clothing or cleaning instrument pulled in. There are pulley or belt problems, including gears, sprockets or chains not guarded properly.
Because of these hazards, you should NEVER... ...wear loose clothing (including jewellery). ...sit on or RIDE the conveyors. (This is absolutely unacceptable and can result in disciplinary action.) ...remove guards or disrupt safety devices. ...clean or fix a jam while the conveyor is still powered. ...do any maintenances without the proper LOTO procedure.
Hazards can come in many forms. This is why we have put in many safeguards to protect ourselves from these dangers. One of the most important methods is our LOTO practice.
Some of our safeguards: Barriers Enclosures Fences Intentional obstructions to protect belts and gears
We cannot rely on physical barriers alone. We must also practice safe behaviours to protect ourselves even further. This attitude of 'safety first' combined with primary safeguarding measures reduces our risk of accidents tremendously.
But we should still keep in mind that these behaviours are ultimately less protective than physical safeguards.
Powered Conveyors (Belts, Live Rollers, etc.)
Conveyors that do not depend on the use of gravity to work are called "powered conveyors".
When working, be aware of... ...pinch points. ...guard rails surrounding low level conveyors. ...emergency stop switches. ...ground belts (these prevent static build up).
There are some common places where hazards happen. For example, belt conveyor drives are very prone to accidents.
Where the belt wraps around and enters the discharge, as well as take up points and where conveyors join with each other, can be dangerous. If you see anything alarming tell management immediately.
Nip and shear points must always have guards around them. Be cautious when around these areas.
Screw Conveyors Before operating the screw conveyor, make sure that it is completely enclosed and safeguards are in place around power transmission.
Moving parts should be enclosed and our co-workers should be restricted from access to these areas.
Watch out for the nip points between the shaft and trough of the screw conveyor. The trough will be near the floor and in this area screw conveyors can be especially hazardous.
Other Notes Screw mechanisms and the power transmission should be enclosed, but not loading and discharge points. Our trough guards are high, so we don't reach in or fall into the trough. If we use an open trough, there will always be railings, still do not put your guard down!
Gravity and Other Conveyors (Aerial, Rollers, Bucket, etc.)
Gravity conveyors rely on gravity or momentum to operate and usually have rollers or wheels.
There will be warning devices, and they will be by the receiving area. Our conveyors will also be going through automatic fire doors if they're passing through fire walls.
When using our portable conveyor: Make sure it is weather-proofed. Make sure no one can walk over cables. Rearrange your set up if necessary. Make sure there are sideboards intact to block wind from disrupting the flow. Never OVERLOAD!
Conveyor Ergonomics and Pace
As you know ergonomics are extremely important in manufacturing. When finding a comfortable position to work, think about your relation to the height, speed, position and width of the conveyor.
We will usually accommodate the tallest workers in terms of the fixed height of the conveyor and provide either chairs or platforms for others.
Other ergonomic concerns: We would like for you and your co-workers to be vocal about what you need during the development phase of setting up the conveyor and space. If repetitive movements are required for the work we will make sure the reaching distance is within 45 cm of our co-workers. We may also have diverters that can bring objects closer to be within reach. Give us your comments and concerns, and we'll try to accommodate everyone.
When determining the pace of work, we must also consider the need for breaks and recovery.
We will attempt to make sure the pace is the average of everyone's capabilities on the floor.
Let us know if you think we need more workers on the line!
It is consuming far to much time it should.