Conveyors are a great help in transporting materials and supplies throughout a facility, but like any piece of equipment that moves materials, conveyors can present some safety concerns. Both powered and gravity conveyors are common causes of warehouse and plant injuries. Here’s a look at some best practices for keeping your employees safe.
Conveyors are not for people!
While it seems like common sense to avoid sitting, standing, walking, or riding on a conveyor, these actions cause more injuries each year than you might think. Horseplay is likely the primary culprit, though attempting repair or maintenance is sometimes a part of these types of activities, too.
Don’t Overload the Conveyors
Overloading can result in conveyors overheating and malfunctioning, falling items, and can cause ergonomic injuries to workers.
Ensure all approved covers and guards are in place
You have conveyor guards for good reason – to protect workers from the moving parts such as gears, chains, and belts that can be hazardous if exposed.
Steer clear when starting
Make sure all workers are clear of the conveyor before starting. Many facilities install warning horns to alert everyone that the conveyors are about to start up.
Keep loose items away from all moving parts
Long hair, loose clothing, and jewelry are dangerous around both gravity and powered conveyors. Long hair should be tied up, long sleeves should be rolled up, and ties should be tucked in. Visitors should be briefed on these safety precautions as well.
Use lockout-tagout procedures when servicing
When servicing any part of the conveyor, make sure all power sources are
disconnected. Lockout-tagout (LOTO) is a safety procedure used to ensure that dangerous machines are completly shut off and unable to be started up again until completion of maintenance or repair work. Failure to do so can result in tragedy.
Know the location of stop and start controls
Every employee who works in the conveyor area should know the locations of all the controls and how to access and use them. Make sure the controls are clearly marked to avoid confusion in an emergency.
Be aware of pinch points
A pinch point is any point where it’s possible for a part of a person’s body to get caught between moving parts of a machine. Proper barrier guards should be provided at all pinch points.
Make conveyor safety training a priority
If you have conveyors in your facility, employees should be trained in safe operations and behavior standards.
Next Level is more than just a pallet rack manufacturer; we are a full-service provider, working directly with logistics managers, engineers, & warehouse employees to determine the best possible solution for any given problem, including the design and installation of gravity and powered conveyor systems and controls. Contact us today to discuss optimization for your facility.