Conveyor belts must be designed to protect personnel from potential pinch points – on rotating equipment like head pulleys and on equipment that allows sudden movements, like gravity take-ups – by including equipment guards to provide a barrier between operator and machine.
Constructed of metal mesh or screen, these guards allow personnel to observe equipment, without running the risk of injury posed by exposure to moving parts.
Often these barrier guards will encompass the entire length of the conveyor belt where it is accessible to personnel, such as along walkways. Different industries and regions have varying standard practices as well as regulatory requirements regarding the extent of these safety measures, all of which should be thoroughly investigated during the design of a conveyor system.
Guards should require tools to allow for their removal.
At the same tie, it must be remembered that service access must be provided to the various pieces of equipment. Equipment guards should be careful designed not to interfere with normal maintenance, through they should nonetheless require special tools to remove and prevent employees from attempting to reach past them to perform maintenance.
After service procedures are completed, it is important that guards be returned to position prior to restarting the conveyor.