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Belt Conveyor Safety Training

The South African Conveyor Belt Systems Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee’s report noted: “Most accidents can be attributed to a lack of an understanding of the inherent risks of conveyor systems and the safe use of such systems.”

The best approach to accident prevention is a well-designed safety program combined with effective, and repeated, training.

A conveyor safety training session led by experts.
Each plant should have in place a program of training for individuals whose positions will require them to work on or near conveyors.

Conveyor Training for New Employees

Conveyor belt safety must start with the newest employee. The tendency is to send “the new kid” – the least experienced, most recently hired- out to do “the job that nobody wants:” clean up around moving belt conveyors. Prior to assigning a new employee the task of working around a conveyor belt, the employee should attend a minimum of four hours of classroom instruction specific to belt conveyors.

The Conveyor Training Course

Each plant should have in place a program of training for individuals whose positions will require them to work on or near conveyors. This program will discuss the risks of, and safe procedures for, working in the vicinity of belt conveyors. The training should include a thorough understanding of the variety of belt conditions that can influence belt operations, fugitive material, and personnel safety. By understanding different conditions of the conveyor, accidents can be reduced.

Martin Engineering's Foundations™ book is a comprehensive resource on belt conveyor operations and maintenance.

This comprehensive training should include as a minimum the following:

  1. General safety practices around belt conveyors
  2. Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  3. Proper personal grooming and apparel
  4. Proper shoveling techniques
  5. Safe inspection and maintenance practices
  6. Conditions of the conveyor that cause problems (leading to maintenance and safety issues)
  7. Belt selection to match structure and conditions
  8. Identification of the sources of fugitive material
  9. Elimination of fugitive material (dust and spillage)
  10. Belt-tracking procedures

Refresher and Reminder Training

In addition to new employees, veteran employees also need training. Senior employees have probably had little or no training about conveyor belts or conveyor belt safety. Seminars such as Martin Engineering’s Foundations™ Workshop have proven effective in providing focused conveyor training to personnel ranging from operations and maintenance workers to conveyor engineers and plant managers. The corresponding Foundations™ Certification Program provides a self-guided conveyor learning experience.

Periodic reminders between the regular training and retraining sessions are also beneficial. Agencies such as the US Mine Safety and Health Administration are a source for case histories on conveyor belt accidents that can provide effective refresher training materials.

Topics: Belt Conveyor Safety

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