Conveyor Guarding and stops/pull wires

What parts of a conveyor should be guarded?

Guards shall be designed to prevent injury to persons and shall be provided at every dangerous part of a conveyor normally accessible to personnel

Any part of a conveyor that is a potential nip point should be guarded – A nip point is a point of convergence between two moving parts that can pinch or crush fingers or other body parts or draw the person into the machinery- Examples are:

  •         Tail Drum and Head Drum Arrangements
  •          Any section of the belt where there are exposed idlers in combination with skirts
  •          Any belt drive arrangement
  •          Any skirting or scraper arrangements
  •          Any belt take-up or tensioning devices
  •          Any exposed drive shafts



Making your conveyor safe

Direct Physical Guarding - A physical barrier is your first line of defence against a conveyor accident and is the most effective means of protection from dangerous points on conveyors. It is a means of physically preventing access to dangerous areas, and is also a requirement by law. There are 4 key points that should always be considered when designing and fitting guards:

  1. The guards must actually make access to the nip point physically impossible
  2. The guard must not impede the operation of the plant
  3. The guard itself must not create a new manual handling risk:
  4. The guard can only be removed with a tool      

Provision of emergency stop controls

All conveyors should be fitted with emergency stop controls, these being:

  1. Lanyards or Pull wires that should cause the conveyor to stop in the event of their being pulled in any direction, breaking, slackening or removal of the pullwire
  2. Isolation points should be provided where the system can be locked out at a point where is not possible to override and start the system from another point. The individual lockouts should not be able to be physically removed except by the person who put it on.
  3. Emergency Stop Buttons that should be located every 30 metres on accessible conveyor sections and every 100 metres where the conveyor is at a height of 2.5 metres or more. The emergency stops should be
  • Red
  • Prominently marked
  • Readily accessible
  • Mushroom head latch in type or lock in type with manual reset.