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The rule of thumb is: one day in hospital for each 1% of body area burned. ... Imagine a chip pan fire... Projected from a high-pressure nozzle... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Hydraulics

Hydraulics Safety Awareness
Dennis Mac HandS UK Health Safety Resources
Hydraulics is not a recognised occupational
  • Unless there is a lost time injury or a death,
  • hydraulic "accidents" go unreported
  • Result no data
  • No data no recognised problem

But there is a problem.
  • Each of the cases illustrated here is an accident
    that could well occur in your company.
  • The first step in preventing these, as with all
    types of accidents, is training.

  • Hydraulic systems store fluid under high pressure
    typically, at 2,000 pounds per square inch
  • Hazards
  • stored energy
  • flailing hydraulic hose, ejected components
  • maintenance conducted without releasing pressure
  • maintenance conducted after incorrectly releasing
  • temperature
  • ignition
  • injection

Employee Killed By Forklift Boom
  • Employee 1 was unloading a piece of steel with
    his forklift. His supervisor leaned down to
    unhook a chain and saw hydraulic fluid dripping
    from the joint at the main cylinder he told
    Employee 1 to take the forklift to be fixed by
    the maintenance man. The employee parked the
    forklift in the maintenance area and raised the
    forks. Employee 1 was standing under the forks
    when the hydraulic fitting to the mast failed,
    resulting in a sudden release of the fluid and
    descent of the mast. Employee 1 was killed. No
    one saw the accident. He may have been attempting
    to pinpoint the leak's location prior to
    summoning the maintenance man. There was a wrench
    on the floor near the body, and it is likely that
    Employee 1 was attempting to tighten the fitting
    to stop the leak, but instead stripped the
    threads, causing a complete failure.

OSHA Accident 515205 Report ID 0625700 -- Event
Date 09/18/1990
  • Skin will scald at 48C (120F)
  • Two to three minutes at that temperature will
    result in a 2nd degree burn.
  • The average operating temperature of a hydraulic
    system of 60C
  • will cause a 2nd degree burn in
  • ½ to 1 second.

  • Oil adheres to the skin. The longer the contact,
    the deeper the burn. Burn injuries are the worst
    type of injury from a rehabilitation point of
    view. The rule of thumb is one day in hospital
    for each 1 of body area burned.

  • This operator was burned when a hydraulic hose,
    neglected during maintenance, burst and spewed
    hydraulic oil, at normal operating temperature,
    over his entire body.

Fire and Explosion Risks
  • High flash point 145-315C (300-600F)
  • High auto-ignition 260-400C (500-750F)
  • Under pressure, atomised spray of droplets may
    extend 10 metres from the break
  • Ignited readily by heat source
  • Resulting fire is torch-like with very high heat
    release rate
  • Mist in confined area can explode violently

Welder Strikes Hydraulic Fluid And Is Burned To
  • Employee 1 was arc welding in the forward
    ballast tank of the American Trader vessel,
    working approximately 68 feet from the upper deck
    in an enclosed space. His welding rod struck a
    pipeline containing hydraulic fluid, which was
    under approximately 600 psig at the time, and
    ignited a fire. Employee 1 became engulfed in
    flames, and sustained thermo-cutaneous burns over
    80 percent of his body from which he died.

OSHA Accident 967430 Report ID 0932000 --
Event Date 07/18/1991
Two Employees Burned In Flash Fire
  • Employees 1 and 2, both press operators, were
    operating an aluminum extrusion press when a
    hydraulic hose developed a leak. Hydraulic fluid
    sprayed out in a small stream under pressure and
    then partially vapourised. The heat and flame
    from a nearby oven ignited the fluid, resulting
    in a flash fire. Employees 1 and 2 sustained
    second- and third-degree burns.

OSHA Accident 170587760 Report ID 0950631 --
Event Date 02/19/1996
  • Imagine a chip pan fire
  • Projected from a high-pressure nozzle

The frequency of fires involving hydraulic fluids
has prompted the introduction of fire-resistant
fluids for hydraulic systems.
  • Is your company using them?

Never heat or weld on or near hydraulic
components without proper preparation.
  • For every 1 degree in heat
  • applied to trapped hydraulic oil,
  • the pressure rises 50-
  • to 60-pounds-per-square-inch.

Employee Dies In Oil Drum Explosion
  • Employee 1 was cutting the top out of a 55
    gallon metal drum that had contained hydraulic
    oil. The drum exploded, killing the employee.

OSHA Accident 170568448 Report ID 0751910 --
Event Date 06/09/1995
  • Never use hands or fingers
  • to find leaks.
  • Fluid under high pressure can be injected into
    the skin causing extreme injury, serious
  • gangrene
  • and amputation.

Accidental Injection of Hydraulic Oil
  • Pipe being pressure-tested in rig with OM15
    aircraft hydraulic oil, held at 6,000psi
  • As operator reached inside Perspex box to operate
    pressure relief valve, hand brushed against pipe
    to valve, just as the pipe split.
  • Fine jet of oil made a ¼-inch cut in hand, with
    ½-inch circle of lifted skin around it.
  • Felt like being punched in the palm.
  • No pain

  • Rushed to hospital in company security van
  • Pain increasing intravenous pain relief
  • In surgery 5 hours after incident, began removing
  • After surgery, morphine ineffective for pain
  • With local anaesthetic to hand, undid stitches
    and searched for more oil
  • Second surgery on day three

  • Skin turned black on little finger
  • Carpal tunnel opened to relieve pressure
  • Massive swelling crushing nerves
  • Cut away side of hand eaten by oil
  • Third surgery on day five
  • More flesh cut away and grafts begun
  • Drugs for pain finally working

(No Transcript)
  • 14 days in hospital
  • Weekly physiotherapy
  • 3 months later, fourth surgery to release little
    finger that had curled into palm
  • 9 months later, fifth surgery
  • Off work for six months
  • 3 skin grafts with scarring to thigh and arm
  • 2 years of physiotherapy
  • Marriage break-up

(No Transcript)
Pipe, retrieved from dismantled test rig
Working with Hydraulic Oils
  • Avoid prolonged breathing of its vapour, mist,
    and fumes.
  • Avoid prolonged or repeated skin contact.
  • Use chemical-resistant gloves, splash goggles and
    a chemical-resistant apron
  • Elevated processing temperatures may cause
    release of toxic vapours which are harmful if
  • Before working with hydraulic oil, know the
    location of the nearest emergency shower and
    eyewash station.

  • Wash off affected skin, eyes, and protective
    clothing immediately. Remove contaminated
    clothing, and launder or dry-clean it before
  • After contact with hydraulic oil (and especially
    before breaks and meals, and at the end of
    shifts), always cleanse skin with a waterless
    hand cleanser, and then wash with soap and water.

Working with Hydraulic Systems
  •   Never begin work on a hydraulic system until
    fully trained.
  • Never begin work on a hydraulic system without
  • a Risk Assessment.
  •   Carefully review the manuals on equipment
    before beginning work. Ask questions about
    anything you do not fully understand.
  • Review all Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for
    all chemicals used.
  • Maintain a clean work area free of slipping
    hazards and debris.
  •   Use all required safety equipment.

  •   Block, secure or lower to the ground
    components that may move, rotate or fall.
  • Use test equipment designed for higher pressures
    than the system being repaired. Use of gauges,
    lines, connectors, etc., designed for lower
    pressures can result in bursting or equipment
    damage. Start with high pressure gauges and work
    down. (A good rule is to use equipment rated at
    twice what is expected. Example For a 2500 psi
    system, use a 5000 psi gauge.)
  • Relieve system pressures.
  • DO NOT USE FINGERS OR HANDS to find leaks. Check
    for leaks using a piece of cardboard or wood.

  •   Always use safety glasses.
  • Use extreme caution when disconnecting hydraulic
    lines. Severe burns from hot fluid can result.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Hydraulic fluid can
    cause slips, falls and resulting injuries.
  • Do not work under equipment / apparatus being
    supported by hydraulics. Stops, safety pins, etc,
    must be in place before repairs begin.

Hydraulics Maintenance
  • All hydraulic hoses, tube lines and fittings
    should be periodically inspected.
  • Any deterioration should be carefully examined to
    determine whether further use of the component
    would constitute a hazard.

  • Conditions such as the following should be
    sufficient for consideration of replacement
  •      a. Any evidence of hydraulic oil leakage
    at the surface of a flexible hose or its junction
    with the metal and couplings      b. Any
    blistering or abnormal deformation to the outer
    covering of a hydraulic hose      c. Hydraulic
    oil leakage at any threaded or clamped joint that
    cannot be eliminated by normal tightening or
    recommended procedures

  • and/or      d. Evidence of excessive abrasion or
    scrubbing on the outer surface of a hose, rigid
    tube, or hydraulic fitting.

  • The risks of work with hydraulic systems are not
    only of high-pressure puncture accidents, but of
    fire, lacerations, severe burns, crushing and
  • These risks apply not only to test-bed engineers,
    but to maintenance fitters, forklift and lorry
    fitters, millwrights, platers and welders and to
    anyone whose work entails the operation of
    machines whether they be milling machines or
    bulldozers that use hydraulic pressure systems.

  • All maintenance work should be visually examined
    when Risk Assessed.
  • All "hot work" should be visually examined when
    Risk Assessed.
  • the presence of a hydraulic system is a hazard
  • the presence of hydraulic hoses is a hazard

  • Step 1 Look for the hazards
  • Step 2 Decide who might be harmed and how
  • Step 3 Evaluate the risks and decide whether
  • the existing precautions are adequate or whether
    more should be done
  • Step 4 Record your findings
  • Step 5 Review your assessment and revise it if

HSE, 5 Steps to Risk Assessment, INDG 163
  • Poor skills, not poor employees, are the
    root-cause of most accidents associated with
  • There is no tool more effective at eliminating
    poor skills and hence, work-related accidents,
    than training.

  • Ensure that only trained, authorised persons
    carry out hydraulic system service, repair and
  • Encourage discussion in management and in safety
    committees on the need for training that will
    prevent these kinds of accidents occurring to
    those to work near or with hydraulic systems.

  • Get training
  • for competency in hydraulics
  • Get training
  • - not in the theory of hydraulics -
  • but in the hazards of hydraulics

Hydraulics Safety Awareness
Thank you
Dennis Mac HandS UK Health Safety Resources
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