Convey the Right Safety Information About Conveyors

Yesterday, we reviewed safe stacking procedures. Today, we focus on another important safety dimension of safe material handling and storage—conveyors.

Employees should be familiar with these basic safety rules for working with and around conveyors:

  • Keep conveyors clean at all times.
  • Know the capacity of the conveyor system to prevent overloading.
  • Inspect conveyors on a regular basis, and do not operate if they need repairs or are missing a guard.
  • Never remove guards or other protective devices.
  • Stop the conveyor immediately if a problem occurs.
  • Know the sound of the warning buzzer indicating that a conveyor is starting up.
  • Never wear loose clothing, wear hair long and loose hair, or wear dangling jewelry that could get caught in the conveyor system.
  • Know the proper procedures in case of a jam and who is authorized to clear jams.
  • Never try to fix a jam while the conveyor is operating, and never try to clear a jam unless trained and authorized to do so.

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Material handlers who use conveyors should also:

  • Wear sturdy shoes.
  • Wear a hard hat if there is danger of material falling from above.
  • Wear proper respiratory and eye protection if there is a dust hazard.
  • Keep the area around the “start” and “stop” buttons clear at all times.
  • Before starting a conveyor, make sure that all workers in the vicinity are aware it’s going to start and are far enough from it to be safe.
  • Never climb, step, walk, or ride on a conveyor.
  • Check and stay within posted conveyor load-weight limits.
  • Never reach into conveyor mechanisms.

In addition, employees should always practice good housekeeping around conveyors and:

  • Remove loose paper, cardboard, or other scrap that could get tangled in the conveyor.
  • Be especially careful to keep steel or plastic strapping away from the rollers.
  • Report any problems concerning conveyors to a supervisor immediately.
  • Shut down malfunctioning or otherwise dangerous conveyors and tag them out to prevent others from using them.

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