| In a recent six year period, 21 miners died in conveyor-belt accidents. The leading cause of these accidents was trying to remove material sticking to a roller or pulley while the belt was running.
Consider the following:
Putting these facts together shows why working near a running conveyor belt is so dangerous. Even at 300 fpm, in that one second that the average person needs to react, the belt moves over the pulleys and rollers a distance of 5 feet. That's far enough to draw your tool, your loose clothing, gloved or bare hand and arm, into a pinch point before you can react.
- In these fatal accidents, belt speeds were typically in the range of 300 to 500 feet per minute (fpm). This means the belt was moving from 5 to over 8 feet per second.
- For the average person, the time needed to react to an unexpected sensation is about one second.
Take these tips to work with you:
- Don't take chances around a conveyor belt.
- Don't perform work that will expose you to a pinch point, like clearing caked material from a roller, while a belt is in operation.
- Only work on a conveyor that is locked and tagged out.
- If you are working near a stopped belt, and a start-up warning is given, stop what you're doing and get clear!
- Never cross a moving belt.
- Always cross at a bridge or designated crossing point.
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