Safety is essential for food processing plants.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 39,100 workers used conveyor belts in 2012. These workers ensure that the product is correctly loaded and unloaded from a conveyor. They also align the product on the belt.
It’s very rare to find a food processing plant of medium-to-large size without employees working close to conveyors. They are essential for any plant that is efficient in processing food.
Although conveyors are common in food processing facilities they can pose a safety concern for your employees. Poor training and improper usage can lead to injuries in the workplace.
WorkSafeBC reported that approximately 35% of work-related accidents in 2008 and 2012 were due to conveyor belts. $218,000,000 was spent on worker’s compensation claims related to those accidents.
Conveyor Belts travel at speeds of up 275 feet per hour. They can also stop or start suddenly. One piece of clothing or jewelry, or even hair, could get caught in a conveyor belt. This can cause serious injuries, if any, to workers. Choose the right conveyor or Material hoist hire for your construction site. That helps in preventing worksite accidents or injuries,
Improvements in Conveyor Safety
The Conveyor Equipment Makers Association (CEMA), a group of leading designers, manufacturers, installers, and operators of conveyor equipment has created 12 standards for improving safety. These standards should serve as the foundation for any conveyor safety training.
Do not touch, climb, sit or stand on the conveyor.
It is almost obvious, and it is not even worth mentioning, that monk eying around on or close to a conveyor can lead to injury. Your conveyor can be damaged if employees are unable to climb, sit, walk, ride, or touch it, especially when it is in use.
If electrical, hydraulic, or gravity energy sources have been blocked, do not carry out maintenance on conveyors.
You must follow proper lock-out, tag-out procedures before any maintenance can be performed on your conveyor. Sometimes technicians can be too confident in their ability to perform maintenance on a conveyor without having to lock out all energy sources. An error could lead to serious injury or death. Before performing any maintenance on your conveyor, always lock out, tag out.
Use equipment only when all covers and guards are in place
For employee safety, the manufacturer offers covers and guards. These protect you against components and points that could cause injury. Your safety is assured by ensuring that all covers and guards are in use before operating the conveyor.
Before you service, make sure to turn off the power and block gravity loads
As with maintenance on conveyors, it is important to follow all lock-out and tag-out procedures before you service any part. If you fail to follow these steps, the conveyor may not start up if technicians are in danger within the conveyor.
Before you begin, make sure that everyone is clear of any equipment.
Before starting the conveyor, ensure that everyone is cleared. Many factories have warning horns that alert workers when the conveyor is about to become active. This is an inexpensive and great upgrade. It’s also a good idea to train your employees so everyone is on the same page.
Only authorized personnel or trained personnel should operate or maintain conveyors, accessories.
Employee safety is paramount. Proper training regarding the operation and maintenance of a conveyor is vital. Injury is often the result of allowing untrained or untrained personnel access to the conveyor. This is due to two reasons:
Your technician’s safety
Only certified and licensed personnel are qualified to maintain a conveyor at its peak efficiency.
Conveyors should be kept out of reach of clothing, hair, and other body parts.
Conveyor belts can trap clothing, body parts, and hair and cause serious injury or even death. The conveyor should be kept clear of all workers’ hands. For moving parts to be clear, hair and clothing should not be loosely tied. You can tie your tie over the shoulder, or you can tie it inside. You should roll-up sleeves. These simple rules can make all the difference in safety and injury prevention.
Clear up all spillage around idlers, tail pulleys, and load points when power is off and guards are in.
You must keep your conveyor’s area free of liquid and debris. When the conveyor is powered on, cleaning should be avoided. You could inflict serious injury if you do this. Be sure to use all lock-out and tag-out procedures when cleaning around conveyors.
Don’t modify or misuse conveyor controls
Conveyor controls can be more than just an on/off switch. These controls include all the controls required for the safe operation of your conveyor. The controls should never be altered or modified under any circumstances by any unauthorized personnel.
All controls and pull chords must be visible and easily accessible
All controls and pull cords must be visible to anyone working on the conveyor in case it is necessary to stop it.
You must not remove, modify, or remove any controls, guards, or interlocks without the manufacturer’s authorization.
For this reason, the manufacturer may include warnings, controls, interlocks, guards, and other safety items. If you find safety hazards in an area of your equipment, the manufacturer will include those items on your conveyor. The manufacturer may not approve of the removal of these items. This could pose a risk to your employees and likely void any warranty.
All hazardous conditions must be reported
In your plant, create a culture where employees can report unsafe conditions to the right personnel. You will be able to take the necessary steps to eliminate unsafe conditions and minimize the possibility of injuries to employees.