Conveyor safety in bulk material handling
One of the basic principles of material handling is to provide safe handling methods & equipment. Bulk material handling systems can be created from some 80 types of conveyors, 50 types of feeders, and 10 types of elevators, with old equipment constantly being revised and new equipment being added to the list. While an individual belt or screw conveyor may be the contact point at which bodily harm results within a given system, the actual cause of the accident may be the direct result of improper design, application, operation, or maintenance of the unit, the rise in product liability claims in the past 10 years means that owners/operators, contractors, consultants, engineers, sales representatives, and conveyor manufacturers can no longer afford to remain unconcerned about ensuring a safe workplace. This article discusses the responsibilities of all individuals involved in bulk material handling systems and provides ten rules to facilitate conveyor safety.
Bulk material handling requires that individual conveying units be arranged to operate within a system or be used to tie together a process. Bulk feeders, conveyors, and elevators must safely interact with bins, hoppers, screens, crushers, dryers, blenders, packaging machines, and other types of process equipment as well as with the structures that support them. Chutes, spouts, skirtboards, and gates are necessary to transfer bulk material from one unit to another. Dust collection equipment is often provided to protect the environment or is required to minimize the chance of fire or explosion that can be caused by a sufficient accumulation of dust.