Treat Hydraulics with Respect by ProQuest


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Treat Hydraulics with Respect
      Proper precautions can help to minimize injury risks.
                                                                            By Kim Berndtson

T     he images are far too graphic to
      print within the pages of this
magazine. But if you do an Internet
                                                                                                                                  Also wear safety glasses and
                                                                                                                              protective gloves, along with any
                                                                                                                              other personal protective equip-
search on hydraulic injection inju-                                                                                           ment appropriate for the application
ries, you will find plenty of photos                                                                                          involved. But don’t expect them
and stories that are vivid enough                                                                                             to prevent injection injuries. “It’s
to make a lasting impression and,                                                                                             instinctive to use your hand to feel
maybe more importantly, encourage                                                                                             for fluid leaks,” says Erickson. “But
you to give hydraulic systems the                                                                                             keep your hands away from any sus-
respect they deserve.                                                                                                         pected leaks.”
    “Everyone needs to be aware of                                                                                                If you suspect an injection injury
hydraulic system safety,” says Gary           Even a pinhole                                                                  has occurred, seek medical attention
                                              leak can release
Kleiner, training and development                                                                                             immediately. Injections may initially
                                              hydraulic fluid
manager, Fluid Connectors Group,                                                                                              feel like a bee sting or wire prick,
                                              at a pressure
Parker Hannifin Corp. “It’s not               high enough to                                                                  which then turns red and swells.
only the maintenance technician’s             penetrate both                                                                      “Never discount an injury or
responsibility, but everyone who              clothing and skin.                                                              brush it off as minor,” says Kleiner.
works on and around hydraulic sys-                                                                                            “Rarely does the initial pain indicate
tems under pressure.”                                                                                                         the actual severity of the injury. What
    Of course, a lot of working with                                                                                          looks like a simple puncture wound
hydraulics is common sense, says                                                                                              is, in fact, life threatening. Hydraulic
Rod Erickson, senior technical                                                                                                fluids contain a wide range of chemi-
instructor, Eaton Training Center.                                                                                            cal compounds that are highly toxic
Yet, mistakes happen.                                                                                                         within the bloodstream.”
    “Mistakes can happen when some-
one forgets to secure a load or when                                                                                          Beware of hot stuff
they forget to bleed the pressure,” he                                                                                            It’s important to have an arsenal
says. “People can get lax when they’ve                                                                                        of reliable diagnostic equipment for
worked around equipment for a long                                                                                            servicing hydraulic systems, includ-
time. Plus, when you’re working on                                                                                            ing a pressure gauge (capable of
a repair, especially in the field, you’re                                                                                     handling pressures higher than the
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