Scaled Management Systems

Belt and roller nip points


A cardboard box manufacturer prints and guillotines cardboard stock material which then passes to a folding and gluing machine. This machine has a large number of belts, pulleys and rollers which transport and fabricate the boxes. The nature of the machine gives rise to several potential hazards. The need to free blockages from time to time makes the total enclosure of the machine impractical.


Because of the nature of the machine the nip-points of the belt drives are guarded by a 14 mm steel rod attached to a bracket adjacent to the pulleys. The rods can be adjusted to prevent access to the inwards-running nip points.

This form of guarding, if used alone, would not meet legislated safety requirements. However, when used in combination with other guards it contributes to the overall safety of working with the machine.

The concept is applicable to any belt and pulley operated equipment.

Hierarchy of Controls:



  • As part of the overall approach to guarding this machine, a simple guard has contributed to safer operation.
  • The company is now working on stage 2 of the project to correct the root cause of the problem and eliminate or minimise the number of blockages.