A bucket elevator is a valuable technology for material transfer in many industrial production processes including grains, powders, plastics and many other bulk products. Incorporating a variety of mechanical and electrical components, a bucket elevator requires certain safety protocols for those working with and around it during operation.
The following are five safety protocols examples can be used to help keep your staff and production operators safer.
1) Keep A Safe Distance
One protocol to apply to all staff, unless trained and authorised, is the protocol to be at a distance from the machine before it is started. Accessible areas of the elevator should also be monitored closely and all panelled guarding needs to be maintained and fitted properly to ensure access is naturally physically restricted.
2) Keep Your Equipment in Good Order
The machinery must be maintained in good order. This includes making sure both mechanical and electrical equipment are subject to regular checks by an authorised engineer. Staff must report any electrical or mechanical faults immediately on discovery and if necessary, the elevator should remain out of service until those issues reported have been addressed. If there is any uncertainty about the safety of the machinery, staff should seek advice from a trained supervisor.
3) The Right Training
Only trained and authorised employees should use and maintain the equipment. Bucket elevators are sophisticated machines and any issue outside its normal operating parameters can be dangerous to both the user and those located in the surrounding area. Users need to be trained in operating guidelines provided by the equipment manufacturer. Any malfunctions should also be reported to supervisors for issues to be resolved accordingly.
4) Use Secure Clothing And PPE
Appropriate precautions must be taken by operators before approaching any machine. Loose clothing, belts, and jewellery can be hazardous as these items can be caught by machinery in a production facility. Correctly fitting overalls can be provided where necessary and properly fastened. Staff with loose or long hair should wear hair nets to ensure it is kept away from the machinery. Depending on the safety procedures within a company, staff can also, where appropriate, wear protective gloves, goggles, masks etc when operating production equipment.
5) Maintain and Repair Your Equipment Regularly
Regular maintenance is essential for the safe and efficient functioning of machinery and these operations must be carried out by trained staff. Similarly, no modifications should be made to the machinery without permission from authorised staff members. Incorrect operation could cause mechanical malfunction or unpredictable behaviour that poses additional risks. When any maintenance or inspection is carried out, isolation switches must be deployed.
It is essential that all operating staff are made aware of the safety protocols and that proper training is provided where necessary. Of course, respecting safety standards doesn’t only protect those in direct contact with the machinery, but it also helps to keep other staff in the area free from harm. Therefore, any staff who are likely to come into the area of the machinery, even if not working directly with it, must be advised on the necessary precautions.
For more information about safe operating procedures for bucket elevators, or to discuss your requirements with one of our team, please contact us today.