Tips to avoid accidents around screening equipment

By |  March 2, 2023
Changing screens is a two-person job to ensure everyone’s safety. Photo: Major

Changing screens is a two-person job to ensure everyone’s safety. Photo: Major

When you’re up against the clock and the pressure is on, accidents can happen.

The risks associated with screen media changeouts – falls, back injuries and cuts – are very real. Rushed jobs, such as when production is waiting on changeouts, can lead to distracted workers and a greater chance of accidents happening.

Implementing a regular, preventive maintenance schedule can help to alleviate these risks. Sometimes, though, unplanned maintenance is necessary. Breakdowns happen. In these events, workers can follow a few key steps to reduce the risks associated with screen media changeouts.

Here’s how

1. Always wear personal protection equipment (PPE). This may seem like an obvious statement, but PPE is not something to take lightly.

A good example of this is hand safety: It can be tempting to forego wearing work gloves for convenience or increased dexterity when handling nuts and bolts, but the risk is never worth it.

Sharp edges on the tail end of screens and at the hooks can cause cuts to workers’ hands, not only posing a danger to individuals but further delaying the operation resuming production.

2. Take your time. This is probably the most effective way to prevent injuries, yet often the hardest to accomplish – especially in situations when production is waiting on the changeout.

In these scenarios, it’s important to remember that safety and attention to detail go hand in hand. Workers must take the time they need to complete their work safely, constantly being aware of their surroundings and taking the extra steps necessary to minimize risks.

For example, if a nut becomes jammed in an impact socket, workers should always disconnect the power source before trying to remove it. Although this takes a few extra seconds, it can prevent accidents.

Additionally, workers should never change screens alone. They should ensure someone is always there to help should someone get into a dangerous spot.

It’s also important for workers to be diligent about using the proper lockdown procedure, as well as wearing safety harnesses if a screen is high off the ground. While these steps may seem time-consuming, they can prevent serious and even life-threatening injuries.

3. Minimize trips up and down. Planning jobs properly is extremely important not only to a job’s efficiency, but to a crew’s safety.

Every trip up and down extends the process and exposes workers to additional risks. Bring a toolbox for the job along with all of the necessary tools – including extra bolts, washers and nuts. A good rule of thumb is if you need to replace five, bring 15. This ensures you have what’s needed to finish the job, even if a few things are dropped accidentally.

Final thoughts

These tips should help operations minimize safety risks when changing out screen media, but they are just a starting point. Be sure every employee is well trained on proper safety procedures when it comes to screen media installation, and work closely with your OEMs and their technicians.

Serge Raymond is a product specialist at Major.

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