Prevention through Design (PtD): optional conveyor features can save lives – article used with permission from BHPBilliton

*article used with permission from BHPBilliton as it appeared in their PotashPages April 2014

The implementation of the PtD Program on the Jansen Project encourages designers to
think outside the box and go above and beyond what is required by code and
regulation. It asks those responsible for the design to foresee hazards and design in
mitigations or remove the hazard completely. An example on this project is the
implementation of gravity take-up arrestors on conveyor belt systems in the plant.
Gravity take-ups are often used on conveyor belts to maintain tension in the belt using a
counter-weight system. This counter-weight can be hundreds of pounds, and as such
contain a lot of potential energy. If the belt were to break, this potential energy would
be unleashed on the structure below and, potentially on personnel in the area.
A way to protect personnel from this hazard is to install a gravity take-up arrestor within
the take-up tower structure. The arrestor uses a grid or array of deformable metal
linkages to absorb the kinetic energy of a falling counter-weight. The design feature
prevents damage to the infrastructure and ensures that the massive counter-weight
does not crash through the floors below, potentially injuring personnel in the process.
This is yet another example of how PtD encourages designers to envisage plant hazards and include mitigation measures in the design well before construction begins.
If you have questions about PtD, please contact [email protected]

Coal Bunker Counter Weight Technogrids

Coal Bunker Counter Weight Technogrids

Technogrid before and after impact

Technogrid before and after impact