Guarding against potential hazards
Ensure conveyor guarding can mitigate safety risks, says Van der Graaf’s Matt Lepp
One of the most common issues related to safety as seen across aggregate manufacturers is the guarding of moving components in a conveyor system.
A typical conveyor drive system has numerous rotating parts resulting in pinch points – the drum, shafts, pulleys, v-belts and chains, couplings, etc. All require guarding and are frequent points of contention with the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA). Eliminating these components and their associated risks will go a long way to increase safety and reduce potential MSHA violations.
Producers should take advantage of the new technologies available to them to help eliminate the risks associated with older drive designs.
For example, drum motors enclose all moving drive components inside the shell and are mounted on static, non-rotating shafts, eliminating pinch points and rotating components outside of the conveyor frame. With no guarding requirements other than the drum itself, the potential for MSHA-related violations is greatly reduced.
Additionally, the space saved by eliminating the external drive components can improve mobility around the drive area and access to other components.
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