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Hydraulic machines are used in many different applications. From agriculture to Hollywood, you will see hydraulics used just about anywhere. For instance, hydraulic machinery helps to deliver a spray of fluids to keep crops healthy. In Hollywood, a hydraulic gimbal sets the motion of a movie set's platform. Unfortunately, working with hydraulics introduces the risk of injury and fatality, but there are ways to prevent that.
Don't Freak Over a Leak
You will find that hydraulic leaks are common. Sometimes the hose fittings come loose, causing liquid to drip or spew. Other times the leak is far less noticeable. Hydraulic machinery consists of high pressure. High pressure fluids often move through hoses, which can create a pinhole leak. Pinhole leaks are hard to spot and can often result in severe injury.
Untrained workers will often search for a pinhole leak using their hand, or a finger run along the hydraulic line. Unfortunately, the pressure caused by a pinhole leak is so intense that it can inject fluid into your hand or finger in a way that is similar to a needle injection. At first, the worker may not even realize that the injury occurred.
However, workers will tend to feel pain and discomfort as the fluid starts to irritate parts of the body and cause damage. Unfortunately, many workers end up losing a finger, or even a hand because of the injury. Depending on the fluid injected into your body, it can create substantial health risks.
If you suspect there is a pinhole leak in a hydraulic line, don't panic and use your hand or finger to check. Instead, grab a piece of cardboard. Run the cardboard along the length of the hose. Make sure your hands and fingers are clear of the tube while you perform the check. A pinhole leak will penetrate the cardboard, allowing you to find it and fix it.
Don't Lose Your Pose Over a Loose Hose
As previously mentioned, loose hoses can also cause injury and even death. When a hose fitting comes loose on a hydraulic machine, it can cause fluid to drip or spray out. If the fitting is too loose, the hose may fly off at any point, swinging around wildly from the pressure. A swinging, high pressurized hose can strike a person and cause significant injuries, or worse.
Again, you want to make sure you remain as calm as possible. Do not attempt to fix the loose fitting. Instead, clear out of the area and make sure everyone else does the same. Shut the machine down before you perform any repairs. You will want to stop pressure from moving through the machine so you can avoid the risk of injury or death. Also, you can reduce coupling issues and ensure a proper fit if you keep couplings clean and maintained.
To find out more about proper safety when using hydraulic machinery, refer to the manufacturer's manual or speak with a company like Europarts USA Inc on the matter.