This case involves a plaintiff who was a conveyor belt splicing technician at an industrial packaging factory. While the plaintiff was working, the sleeve of his shirt became stuck in the roller of the conveyor belt. The plaintiff attempted to un-jam the shirt from the roller but got his arm stuck in the roller. He lost his forearm as a result of the incident and was left permanently unable to work. The plaintiff alleged that there was no sufficient form of e-stop of the conveyor belt to prevent incidents such as this from happening.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your experience with conveyor belts.
- 2. Have you ever consulted on a products liability matter?
Expert Witness Response E-059103
My experience with conveyor belts extends to over 26 years of various applications from food and automotive packaging to handling palletizing robotic automation belts, rollers, blue steel powered, and free gravity types. My expertise in most cases involves some sort of forensic engineering in one way or another. My initial thought is that this type of telescopic conveying system is in no way certified to be safe. There are no safety features that run length wise of the conveyor that leaves anyone walking by on either side, vulnerable or unable to e-stop the conveyor. The acceptable form of e-stop would be a cable that runs from one end to the other, both sides, that allows anyone to pull/ activate, the e-stop in the event of an emergency.