Machinery Safety 101

A User’s Guide to Conveyor Belt Safety — Protection from Danger Zones


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Own­er: Doug Nix

Ver­sion: 1.0

Last Updated: 2019-05-01 9:47



A num­ber of acci­dents involving con­vey­or belts can be attrib­uted to access­ib­il­ity to danger zones. The major­ity of these occur dur­ing main­ten­ance activ­it­ies with con­vey­ors still in oper­a­tion and danger zones unprotected.

Pre­vent­at­ive meas­ures must be imple­men­ted in order that work on or near con­vey­ors can be per­formed safely. Right from the design stage, work­er expos­ure to haz­ards must be con­trolled by redu­cing the fre­quency of under-con­­vey­or clean-ups, con­vey­or main­ten­ance, remov­ing jams, etc. This guide sug­gests pos­sible pre­vent­at­ive meas­ures but they are by no means exhaust­ive. In many situ­ations, the risk must be ana­lyzed before any pre­vent­at­ive meas­ures are implemented.

This guide is com­posed of two sec­tions. Sec­tion 1 provides defin­i­tions, inform­a­tion on con­vey­or belt acci­dents, an over­view of mech­an­ic­al haz­ards and applic­able leg­al require­ments. Sec­tion 2 dis­cusses risk assess­ment and haz­ard con­trol pro­ced­ures, spe­cif­ic safe­guards against mech­an­ic­al and oth­er haz­ards, safe­guards against haz­ards encountered dur­ing main­ten­ance, and train­ing for oper­at­ors and main­ten­ance personnel.

This guide is dir­ec­ted mainly to work­ers, tech­ni­cians, super­visors, joint health and safety com­mit­tee mem­bers, and oth­er inter­ested parties.

Con­vey­or design and modi­fic­a­tion for enhanced safety are dis­cussed in Sécur­ité des con­voyeurs à courroie : guide du con­cepteur (A Designer’s Guide to Con­vey­or Belt Safety).

An entire chapter is devoted to oper­a­tion­al prob­lems and dia­gnostics and includes sug­ges­ted solu­tions for con­sid­er­a­tion in the prob­lem solv­ing pro­cess. In anoth­er chapter, a fault tree illus­trates links between con­vey­or defects and acci­dents. Sécur­ité des con­voyeurs à courroie: guide du con­cepteur (A Designer’s Guide to Con­vey­or Belt Safety) tar­gets engin­eers, design­ers, con­vey­or belt man­u­fac­tur­ers and main­ten­ance managers.

2 thoughts on “A User’s Guide to Conveyor Belt Safety — Protection from Danger Zones

  1. This is Good art­icle about safety in con­vey­or belt. All the stake hold­er can bene­fit from this mater­i­al. Unfor­tu­nately in India aware­ness for guard­ing is rare.

    1. Thanks, Infin­ity!
      The con­vey­or guard­ing guidelines pub­lished by IRRST and the Alberta Pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment are quite good. The Alberta guidelines are a very slightly revised ver­sion of the IRRST guidelines, and I would recom­mend the IRRST doc­u­ment if you are look­ing for good source mater­i­al. Safety aware­ness is a big issue in many coun­tries. As safety pro­fes­sion­als, all we can do is try to move prac­tices in the right dir­ec­tion, often against strong resistance.

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