Conveyors have been used to move large quantities of material over long distances and with their continuously moving components are inherently dangerous. They also featuring many nip points with large amounts of mechanical energy which carries the risk of entanglement the root cause of more than half of all conveyor accidents.
Two apprentices based in Tunstead Workshops, Tarmac, were given a project to construct a working rig which simulates a worker coming into contact with conveyor moving parts and nip points. The rig, see below, was transported around site during an onsite safety week before being demonstrated at a local engineering careers evening prior to being presented at other BLA lime producers for best practice sharing. The aim is to also promote the rig at upcoming safety workshops.
Singleton Birch operates four Maerz Lime Kilns.
During operations there are occasions when personnel have to inspect the inside of a section of the kiln. They are working at height and have to lean inside the kiln where possibly they could be at risk of falling in (although protected by a work restraint harness).
“An example of worker involvement and innovation”
A review was undertaken and operators were involved in suggestions of how to carry out the inspections and reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring.
One operator, Oliver Fisher, who had recently joined the company, came up with the idea of having a hinged access cage. The cage can be swung into place inside the kiln opening, thereby eliminating the risk of falling. The actual cost for the installation was minimal compared to the potential risk of injury. All kilns have since been modified.
The personnel having to carry out the inspections are not exposed to the risk of falling. Inspections can now be done by one person, with no requirement for safety restraints and rescue plans.