By Anonymous • August 01, 2022•Careers, Firms and the Private Sector
Conveyor belts are a common part of manufacturing and other industrial processes. These belts are typically used to transport raw materials and finished products from one point to another. The speed of the belt can be increased or decreased depending on the need for specific materials.
Conveyor belts can be dangerous for workers because they allow for constant contact with the belt, which can lead to repetitive motion injuries if proper precautions are not taken. Workers should be aware of the dangers involved when performing their duties on conveyor belts and take appropriate steps to protect themselves from injury.
Conveyor belt injuries to workers can be very serious. Even if the employee is not injured on the job, the incident may lead to a lawsuit.
Conveyor Belt Injuries: What You Need to Know
Conveyor belt injuries are a common cause of workplace accidents. The number of incidents involving conveyor belts has risen in recent years, with more than 300,000 reported nationwide each year.
According to OSHA's statistics, there are about 50 fatalities per year caused by conveyor belt injuries across the country. Most of these deaths occur at work sites where employees are using hand-held power tools or other equipment near moving equipment such as a conveyor belt.
The reality is that conveyor belt accidents can happen to anyone, whether they're driving them or operating them. Workers can be injured while using a conveyor belt, whether they are driving them or operating them.
The danger lies in the fact that these types of machines can move very quickly and without warning. If you aren't paying attention and if you aren't trained on how to operate one properly, there's always the possibility that an accident could occur with devastating results. That's why it's imperative that everyone who works around these types of machinery gets trained on how to use them safely and effectively so that they don't end up causing any harm or getting hurt themselves as a result.
The most common types of conveyor belt injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Headaches and dizziness
- Strains and sprains
What Standards Regulate the Design and Use of Conveyor Belts?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the design and use of conveyor belts. The agency requires that employers provide workers with a safe means of walking on, climbing through or around the conveyor belt, and that they keep hazardous conditions under control.
In addition to these requirements, OSHA has established standards for the design and construction of conveyor belts used in manufacturing operations. These standards are intended to reduce the potential for serious injuries caused by falls from, contact with, or contact with moving parts of the equipment.
The standards specify:
- the maximum size of a conveyor belt;
- the maximum weight the belts for conveyors can support;
- how far apart the rollers should be spaced on individual rollers;
- how close together the rollers should be placed on each side of the centerline;
- the maximum number of rollers that can be installed in a single run; and
- the size and shape of each roller as well as its location on each side of its centerline.
- Safety Standard for Conveyors and Related Equipment
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has published a new edition of its Standard for Conveyors and Related Equipment. The Standard is available online at http://www.nfpa.org/publications/standards/conveyors-15th.pdf.
It covers all aspects of the design, installation, maintenance, and operation of conveyors and related equipment. The Standard is intended to serve as a safety standard for conveyor systems in the United States.
The Standard applies to any conveyor system that transports material or product through a conveyor belt or other moving part with any configuration of belts or belts and feeder systems that have been designed by manufacturers to transport materials or products in bulk quantities over distances ranging from 1 to 10 miles (1 km). The Standard also applies to any belt or belt and feeder system that may be used to transfer materials or products between two or more locations regardless of where the final destination is located.
How can Conveyor Belt Injuries be Prevented?
Conveyor belt injuries can be prevented through proper training, safety measures, and testing.
Be careful when changing shifts or working rotating shifts. This can cause fatigue, which can lead to slips and falls because your muscles aren't used to moving around so much at once.
The most important step in preventing conveyor belt injuries is to have employees trained on how to use the equipment safely. When workers are given proper training, they are more likely to follow directions and take precautions when working around dangerous equipment. Use caution when approaching equipment that's moving. If possible, use a step stool or ladder instead of climbing on top of it. Also, don't stand near the back of a truck during transport as it may be difficult for you to see what's happening back there.
In addition, manufacturers should ensure that their machines are properly maintained and that they meet all government requirements. For instance, all machines should be inspected regularly for defects, wear and tear, or parts that could cause injury if they fail. If a machine does break down or start causing harm, it should be shut down immediately so that no one is injured by it.
Conveyor belt safety depends on the effectiveness of these machines during testing as well as after use. Before testing a machine for the first time or after repairs have been made, it must be tested thoroughly by someone who knows what he or she is doing. This allows for any problems with the machine to be identified before it is put into service where there are many other people at risk of injury from this type of machinery.
The legal risks associated with protecting workers from conveyor belt injuries are significant. If a worker is injured on the job and you are found to be negligent, you may be liable for the worker’s medical bills and lost wages. If your company is found to be negligent, you could face financial penalties or even criminal prosecution.
In addition to legal liability, there are often other risks associated with conveyor belt injuries. These include:
- The cost of medical care. Whether or not a worker's injury was caused by the work being done on the conveyor belt, there will be medical bills related to treating the injury. Workers' compensation benefits usually cover these costs, but they may not be enough to pay for all of them. Workers who have lost limbs or suffered other serious injuries may also file suit against their employers.
- Other damages. Workers who are injured while working on conveyors often suffer from depression and anxiety due to their injuries and fear of losing their jobs. In addition, many workers fear even further harm if they return to work after suffering an injury in a conveyor belt-related accident because they do not want to risk another accident.
Workers who are injured because of poor safety practices at their workplace may also file suit against their employers for failing to provide proper safety equipment and training for employees who use such equipment.
About the Author Jeremy Axel
Jeremy Axel is the founder of Fluent Conveyors, they design and manufacture conveyors for Waste and recycling industries, Manufacturing, and Distribution centers across the United States. He is also known for building trusted relationships with conveyor dealers and reseller networks and developing advanced technological processes and tools that help them do their jobs more efficiently.