Vertical balers are machines used to compact a range of different recyclable materials into high-density bales; they are incredibly useful machines for businesses who want to reduce their waste management costs.

As with most industrial machinery, although injuries are rare and great steps are taken by manufacturers to ensure operative safety, there is an ever present risk when using vertical balers. These machines exert vast amounts of pressure onto the material being baled via a metal press plate.

Our range of vertical balers are designed with a ‘safety first’ approach to limit the number of risks that machine operatives may be exposed to. In this guide, we’re going to explore vertical baler safety through the following sections:

Vertical Baler Safety Features

At Greenbank, we stock a wide range of Bramidan vertical balers – ranging from smaller models such as the Bramidan B3 baler to larger models such as the X40 Wide. The entire range comes with a plethora of safety features and EN 16500 certification – this is a set of safety standards for vertical balers introduced by the CEN European Committee for Standardisation. For balers to receive this certification, they must meet a list of strict requirements which ensure the safe operation of the machine at every stage. 

As a result of prioritising operative safety, these machines feature a variety of features which ensure the safe operation of the machine at every stage, these include:

  1. Tamper proof doors – It is impossible to run the machine with the door open thanks to the tamper proof doors fitted on each model. There are also no gaps in the baler meaning that it’s close to impossible to get a body part or item of clothing stuck inside the machine.
  2. Back up malfunction system – each baler is fitted with a control unit that double checks everything before allowing the baler to run. In the unlikely event that the door was to break or malfunction and the baler was allowed to run with the door still open, the control unit would spot the malfunction and disallow the press plate activation.
  3. Controlled opening of lower door – the vertical balers in this range all feature strong threaded spindles which the operative must turn to open the balers lower door. This ensures a steady and controlled opening, preventing the door from swinging widely and possibly harming any nearby bystanders.
  4. Double button ejection – In order to eject the bale, the operative must push two buttons; one on the front of the baler and the other on the side control panel. Not only does this ensure that the bale cannot be accidentally ejected, but because of the position of the buttons, it also ensures that the operative must stand to the side of the machine to eject the bale, placing them out of harm’s way if anything were to occur.
  5. Controlled Bale Ejection – all of these balers eject the bale at a steady and controlled speed, thus avoiding the possibility of the bale over turning and harming any bystanders.
  6. Low Noise Level – Bramidan’s range of vertical balers are significantly quieter than most of the other balers currently on the market (producing 59-60 dB compared to 70 dB). This ensures a comfortable environment for your staff to work in and reduces the chance of their hearing being damaged. 

How to ensure the safe operation of a vertical baler

Although a lot of the risks are eliminated by the design of our vertical balers, it’s important that your staff operate the machines in a correct manner and take certain precautions. We would recommend the following to ensure safe operation of a vertical baler:

  1. Training – It’s incredibly important that your staff are well trained in operating these powerful machines. We offer “Train the Trainer” coaching, educating certain members of your staff on how to operate the baler effectively and safely so that they can then go on to train the reminder of your employees. The baler also comes with an instructional manual that walks you through the maintenance procedures.
  2. Wear protective clothing – It’s recommended that baler operatives wear PPE such as safety glasses, gloves, hard hats and ear plugs.
  3. Clear the area before use – before you turn on the baler, ensure that the area around it is free from any obstructions that may get in your way and pose a risk to your safety. Look out for debris, cords or even other people.
  4. Load the baler correctly – each baler comes with a set of manufacturers instructions regarding the correct loading of waste materials (once again, our staff will walk you through this). The key point to remember is to not exceed the maximum weight and size of the material being loaded into the baler.
  5. Turn the baler off for maintenance – when you are maintaining the machine or trying to unjam it, turn off the baler first. Never reach into the chamber when the machine is turned on.
  6. Regular service check-ups – In order to keep your vertical baler running smoothly all year round, it’s recommended that you have your baler serviced regularly. Greenbank provides baler servicing plans which include regular preventative maintenance visits. Regular servicing is even more important for used waste balers which have seen several years of service already.
  7. Use the correct consumables – Be sure to use the correct baler strapping or baling wire for your machine. 

Other Baler Safety Tips:

  • Do not attempt to fix the baler yourself if you are not qualified to do so; Instead contact trained engineers.
  • Ensure that the warning labels and/or button labels on the baler are not worn out.

Final Thoughts 

Ensuring the safety of your staff whilst they operate heavy industrial equipment such as vertical balers is of high importance. We hope that this vertical baler safety guide has helped you to better understand how our balers are designed with safety in mind, and how your staff can ensure that they stay safe when operating them.

If you’d like more information regarding our range of vertical balers or if you have any more questions about staying safe when operating these machines, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team who will be happy to assist you.

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