That's a bit intense when you consider it takes just 100 psi to break skin. "A pinhole leak in a hydraulic hose that is under pressure can release hydraulic fluid at more than 600 ft. per second - close to the muzzle velocity of a gun," [Dennis Kemper] points out. "The very fine jet of hydraulic fluid at high pressure will act like a hypodermic needle that may penetrate both protective clothing and skin."
Oils I & Lubricants 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 alwa
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