The following practices will help evaluate whether your conveyors currently pose a hazard to your employees, and make any necessary improvements to safeguard you and your employees.
1. Have an elevated walkway with guardrails or gates wherever employees must cross over moving conveyors.
2. Provide suitable guarding wherever employees must cross under moving conveyors. The goal is to prevent access to moving parts that could pull hair, body parts or material into the equipment.
3. Always secure conveyor rollers and wheels in position. Transition points between conveyors should have a transition plate or guard to prevent the conveyor from pulling fingers into it.
4. Ensure guards prevent access to moving parts so workers cannot reach around, under through or over the guard. Use OSHA’s guarding scale to determine the allowable opening size of the guarding.
5. Examine the space between the end roller and or other high tension rollers and the conveyor belt. Guard this gap to prevent nip-point injuries.
6. Verify that your conveyors with electrically released brake are constructed so the brakes cannot be released until power is applied. Also the brakes should automatically engage if the power fails or the operating control is returned to the “stop” position.
7. Check that all controls are accessible, functional and properly labeled. Emergency stop devices must be readily accessible to stop the conveyor during an emergency. Use emergency pull cords that use a safety related switch and be sure to test and inspect the pull cord systems as the manufacturer requires.
8. Perform all scheduled preventative maintenance and conduct regular inspections, this is critical for ensuring that the conveyor system functions properly and safely in particular, you’ll want to verify that all guards and other safety devices are in place and functional.