October 25, 2013
“October is historically the deadliest month for miners,” the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) noted in a report on three fatal accidents in late-September. Additionally, four injuries and one fatality occurred between October 1 and October 22.
Though none of the recent incidents were conveyor-belt related, it is still important to keep safety in mind when working around conveyor belts.
Nearly 30 miners were killed in conveyor-belt related accidents in the 10-year period from 2000 to 2010, Editor-in-Chief Therese Dunphy noted in the Safety Watch section of the October issue of Aggregates Manager magazine.
To avoid accidents, follow these four guidelines when working around conveyor belts:
Stop. Do not work or travel near a conveyor while it is operating. Do not attempt to place your arm or any tools near a roller or other moving part when the belt is moving or may start.
De-energize. Turn off the power to the conveyor belt and disconnect the electrical circuit at the breaker panel or motor control center.
Lock and tag. After disconnecting the power, lock and tag to ensure the conveyor belt cannot be activated while you are working around it.
Block from motion. Secure the belt to prevent unintended motion such as belt movement caused by stored energy.