Safety procedures on belt conveyors


Purpose:  Belt conveyors are used to move bulk material from one point to another. They can be very dangerous and can injure or kill people not aware of their power. This must be recognized so that accidents can be prevented.
Description:  Procedure

  • Lockout/tag out all energy sources to the conveyor belt, conveyor accessories and associated process equipment before beginning any work–whether it is construction, installation, maintenance, or inspection in the area. Use a lock for each energy source.
  • Employees should be familiar with the material handling system (including emergency warning signals and emergency stop controls) before they are allowed to work in the area. Notices must inform people in case of automatic start-up, hot material and other specific dangers.
  • The conveyor safety program should be part of a comprehensive and formal safety program within the plant with which all employees are familiar and in which they should participate.
  • A formal inspection and maintenance schedule should be developed and followed for the material handling system. This program should include emergency switches, lights, horns, wiring, and warning labels, as well as the moving components and process equipment.
  • Employees should be familiar with all company safety requirements. Visitors should receive safety induction unless accompanied by a plant employee.
  • The recommended operating speed and capacity for the conveyor and chute should not be exceeded
  • All tools and work materials must be removed from the belt and chute before restarting a conveyor. A safety “walk around” is recommended prior to starting conveyor operation.
  • All emergency controls should be close to the system, easy to access and free of debris and obstructions.
  • A helmet and steel-toe shoes or boots should be worn when in the area of the conveyor. Safety glasses should be worn in case of dust emission. Loose or bulky clothing should not be worn. Gloves are to be worn when working
  • Never poke, prod, or reach into a material handling system while it is in operation. Never do it even remotely with a tool.
  • Never sit on, cross over, or ride on a conveyor that is not safety locked. Never use belts conveyors to transport yourself or others




  • It is critical that pinch points on rotating equipment (such as head pulleys, idlers) and equipment that creates sudden movements, like gravity take-ups, be enclosed to prevent accidental entrapment of limbs or clothing.
  • All guards, safety devices, and warning signs should be kept in proper position and in good working order. The emergency stop devices must be accessible over all the conveyor length.
  • After service is completed, it is important that all guards be returned to position prior to restarting the conveyor.
  • A good working environment should be achieved while the belt is working or stopped. All spillages, leakages and dust emissions must be minimized. Belts conveying dusty material in open (especially windy) areas should be covered.


  • Protective guards on rotating parts, pinch points, convex curvature and skirted areas.
  • Horn, Light or Flash to warn before start up
  • Emergency stop readily accessible from the whole conveyor length
  • Power lockout availability
  • Complete safety procedure and training program



Impact if not correct: 
  • Health and Safety of employees jeopardized.
  • Improve or install correct protective equipment
  • Ensure people information and training, check behaviour is correct
Unit Completion:
  • Trainees have followed the safety rules and lock out procedure during a belt repair or inspection.
  • Trainees make an safety inspection of an area and record safety hazards



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