Common Causes of Conveyor Belt Injuries
Lack of safety training, failure to install guard rails, inadequate maintenance, falling objects, and excessive belt speeds are some common causes of conveyor belt accidents and injuries. Conveyor belt injuries usually result from negligent policies or actions.
Lack of Training
Many employers train employees on how to do their duties without educating them on the risks of using conveyor belts. Without adequate training, workers can make mistakes like keeping long hair and wearing long clothing and jewelry close to the belt’s moving parts. Failure to educate workers on the hazards and safe-conduct when working near or on dangerous equipment may compromise employee safety and lead to serious injuries.
An employer will be liable for the injuries caused by improper safety training.
Guard rails help prevent employees from accidentally getting their hair, hands, feet, or clothes caught in potential pinch or nip points. Employees can sustain injuries because of the conveyor belt being partially or wholly unguarded. An employer can be held liable if it can be proven that the use of sufficient guard rails would have prevented an employee’s injury.
Companies must schedule regular maintenance on conveyor belts to address malfunction problems and design defects. The moving parts of an improperly maintained conveyor belt can break easily or get damaged and cause a catastrophic accident.
Overloaded Conveyor Belts
Conveyor belts with too many items can injure employees when some items fall, particularly if the belts are not adequately guarded. Objects falling from an overhead belt can cause head trauma or spinal cord injuries. Heavy items dropping to the ground can cause crush injuries to the ankles, toes, or feet.
Employers may make employees work with belts moving at very high speeds in a bid to boost productivity. The employer’s actions may be considered negligent. Excessive conveyor belt speeds can cause injuries to the limbs.
Workers can make mistakes and sustain conveyor belt injuries like blunt force trauma, burn injuries, and electrocution. For example, employees who work long shifts or do not receive enough breaks are more likely to make serious errors that cause injuries.
Injuries range from minor to severe, and can be life-threatening in some instances. An injured employee or family member of a loved one who lost his or her life is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.