MSHA Issues Alert on Rotating Conveyor Rollers

MSHA is reporting that three miners have been permanently disabled since the beginning of 2024 because of rotating conveyor rollers.

Serious and fatal injuries occur when miners clean or adjust conveyor rollers, pulleys and idlers while the belt is in motion. Injuries vary from broken bones to loss of fingers, hands and arms. Some accidents have resulted in fatal injuries. 

Injuries result from unsafe actions such as:

  • Using aerial lifts to access elevated bend, snub and take-up pulleys, or removing or reaching around guards to work on moving conveyor components.
  • Using scrapers, shovels, pry bars, hammers and torches to remove ice, mud or buildup. The tools can be caught in pinch points between the conveyor belt and rollers and pull in the tools and miners’ hands, arms, and bodies.

MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Keep guards in place. Do not defeat or circumvent any protective system.
  • Have an effective lock-out program. Shut down, deenergize and lock out power switches and block conveyor parts against hazardous motion prior to performing belt roller or pulley cleaning, belt tracking or other maintenance.
  • Establish policies and procedures to ensure proper and safe cleaning and maintenance of conveyor components.
  • Provide task and site-specific hazard training that prohibits cleaning or working on or around moving conveyor components.
  • Follow safe cleaning and maintenance policies and procedures.  Supervisors, miners, and contractors are all responsible for working safely.

Related posts