Efficient Plant July/August 2020 - 15

When conveyor systems
are designed based on
life-cycle cost, benefits
usually accrue and costs
are lower, resulting in a
net savings over time.

feature | conveyor systems

Engineer
Safer
Conveyors
ALL NEW CONVEYOR systems inevitably succumb to the punishing bulk-handling environment and slowly degrade. Eventually,
a system will require more time and labor for maintenance, deliver
shorter periods of operation and longer periods of downtime, and
become an ever-increasing cost of operation. This period is accompanied by an increased safety risk.
To reduce hazards involves a variety of methods, from use of
personal protective equipment (PPE) to installing the latest and
safest equipment designs. Improving efficiency and reducing risk can
be achieved by using a hierarchy of control methods. The consensus

JUL/AUG 2020

EP2007fmartin.indd 15

Using a life-cycle-cost
approach to conveyor
system design will result
in increased reliability
and worker safety.
Todd Swinderman
Martin Engineering

among safety professionals is that the most effective way to mitigate
risks is to design the hazard out of the component or system.

CONTROL METHODS
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, Washington, osha.gov) accident database, accidents
involving conveyors occur near locations where cleaning and maintenance activities most frequently take place, i.e., take-up, tail, and
head pullies. Designing hazards out of a system means alleviating
causes with the intent to bolster safety on a conveyor system, but the
EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

15

7/15/20 2:26 PM


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Efficient Plant July/August 2020

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