December 24, 2013
According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the most common belt conveyor accidents occur when a miner is:
Caught between a conveyor belt and an idler or pulley;
Caught in a drive chain or gear drive; or
Trapped between major components of a system.
In addition, the most common hazards associated with conveyors are:
Fall of person;
Falling materials or objects;
Slip-trip-fall injuries; and
To ensure operator safety, MSHA compiled the following best practices for avoiding conveyor accidents.
Establish policies and procedures for conducting specific tasks on belt conveyors.
Ensure that persons are task trained and understand hazards associated with work performed.
De-energize and block belt conveyors against motion before working near a drive, head, tail, take-up pulleys, and magnets.
Lock-out/tag-out all power sources before working on belt conveyors.
Maintain communications with all persons performing the task. Before starting belt conveyors, ensure that all persons are clear.
Provide and maintain a safe means of access to all working places.
Sound an audible alarm if the entire length of the belt conveyor is not visible from the starting switch.
For more on conveyor safety, click here.