Conveyor Belts: 3 Steps For Safe Operation

Industrial conveyor belts help move people and products quickly from one location to the next. When treated properly, they're completely safe. However, if you don't take the proper precautions, conveyor belts can cause serious injuries. In fact, conveyor belts account for about 35% of work-related injuries in the manufacturing industry. If you're going to be working with conveyor belts, you owe it to yourself to take proper precautions. Here are four tips that will keep you safe while working near a conveyor belt.

Watch What You Wear

In addition to the mandatory safety gear you'll be required to wear – goggles, hardhat and safety shoes – there are a few other safety precautions you should take when operating a conveyor belt. Your hair should be kept away from your neck and face, which mean you should either keep it cut short or pulled back and secured.

Avoid wearing any type of jewelry that could get caught in the belt mechanism. It's also important that you wear short-sleeved shirts or shirts that fit snugly around your wrist. Never wear loose-fitting clothes that could get caught in the machinery.

S.L.A.M. It

When working with industrial conveyor belts, you should always inspect the area before beginning your daily operations. To ensure your safety, you should S.L.A.M. it first. Here's a brief explanation of what that entails.

  • Stop – take a moment to assess your work station
  • Look – Inspect the conveyor belt for damage or dirt
  • Analyze – Inspect the controls used for operating the conveyor belt
  • Maintain – Clean and maintain the conveyor belt as needed prior to beginning operations

Stop Before You Maintain

Conveyor belts can get dirty. When they do, you'll need to clean them as soon as possible. However, you should never attempt to clean or maintain a moving conveyor belt – even if there's just a small spot that needs cleaning. Touching a moving conveyor belt could cause your clothing or hands to get caught in the conveyor mechanism, which could lead to severe bodily injury. To prevent injuries during maintenance, be sure that the conveyor belt is turned off and blocked from accidental movement.

Conveyor belts are a safe and efficient way to move products during industrial and manufacturing operations. However, it's up to you to maintain safe practices that will prevent work-related injuries. The tips provided above will help you stay safe while operating a conveyor belt. It's also important that you follow the rules and regulations provided to you by your employer.