Nearly all of our equipment has hydraulic lines for cylinders, drive motors, vibrators, pumps, etc. The pressures can reach 10,000 psi and at very high tempertures. Unfortunately, the hydraulic hoses and the fittings are susceptible to failure, particularly when the articulation of the equipment causes sometimes many thousands of bending actions.
The following precautions are from the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA):
|When not properly maintained, any hose used in a hydraulic system or connected to a pressure source is a potential danger. Hazards include:
- Fluid Injections – Fine streams of pressurized fluid escaping from a damaged hose can enter the body and cause tissue damage. Remember, hydraulic fluid is TOXIC!
- Whipping Hoses – Whip action of hose ends after hose separates can strike a person with deadly force.
- Fluid Burns – Fluid escaping from a damaged hose can burn skin even without igniting.
- Fires and Explosions – Escaping fluid exposed to a source of ignition may burn or explode. Guard hoses from exposure to ignition sources.
- Electrical Shock – Hoses can contain conductive reinforcement material or conductive fluid. Avoid routing near electrical equipment.
- Mechanical failure – Machinery driven or supported by hydraulics can move unexpectedly when a hose supplying that machine fails and results in loss of hydraulic pressure.
Inspect hoses regularly for:
- Exposed reinforcement wires
- Damaged or corroded fittings
- Excessive dirt or grease buildup
- Missing guards, shields, and clamps