Conveying/ Crushing/ Sizing & Processing
As quarrying is essentially the process of moving product, most quarries inevitably have some form of conveying system crushing and sizing systems as conveyors, crushers and sizers are a very efficient way of moving material. To move large amounts of material requires a lot of energy, and it is this energy, moving parts and nip-points that make conveying, crushing and sizing some of the most dangerous items of plant in a quarry.
There are many different hazards that exist around conveyor belts (for example dust, noise, rotating/moving parts). This section of the website will only focus on the risk of becoming tangled with moving parts.
Most of the accidents associated with these activities occur during maintenance operations or when something abnormal has occurred with the process such as a blocked crusher or a spillage of material.
It is essential that any maintenance operations and most other activities carried out on or around these activities is undertaken when the equipment has been isolated and any kinetic energy released. Where there is an identified risk there should be isolation procedures and/or permit to work systems that remove the electrical power to the machinery and ensure it cannot be readmitted inadvertently.
It is essential to include within the safety statement an inspection and testing scheme for all such equipment to ensure:
- Adequate guarding is provided and is in place and can only be removed with the aid of a tool
- Pull-wires systems and lock-out boxes are operating effectively
- Emergency stops are suitably placed and working correctly so that a manual reset is required
- Interlocks are operating correctly and workers are aware that they should not work within an interlocked area without physical isolation of the equipment.
- Blocked crusher procedures are in place and more importantly are used