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                        2 min read

                        Dangerous hydraulic fluid incident prompts regulator warning

                        Dangerous hydraulic fluid incident prompts regulator warning

                        A hydraulic oil incident involving a continuous miner earlier this year is under investigation.

                        The operator was standing on the equipment’s platform in an underground coal mine in NSW, when hydraulic oil sprayed from the retraction hose. The fluid sprayed at the operator, who was only 800 to 900 millimetres away from the location of fluid release, at a pressure of 2000 psi.

                        No injuries have been reported.

                        The NSW Resources Regulator says the spiral wrap used to guard the hose did not adequately protect it from rubbing against the edge of a metal plate on the machine.

                         

                        Hydraulic fluid - a major hazard

                        Incidents involving hydraulic fluid have the potential to cause serious injury to machinery operators and those in the vicinity. Some of the major risks that can be posed by hydraulic fluid include:

                        • Injection injury: when fluid pierces the skin and enters the blood stream.

                        • Burns: caused by hot fluid making contact with the skin.

                        • Striking and whiplash: when the hydraulic hose contacts a person due to unrestrained movement.

                         

                        Inspection for prevention

                        As with many of the machinery incidents we see here at Ideagen Plant Assessor, this one could have been avoided. This highlights just how vital regular inspection of machinery is in preventing serious incidents. 

                        Had thorough risk assessments and daily pre start checks been conducted on this continuous miner, the wear on the spiral wrap guarding would likely have been identified prior to the incident occurring. Corrective actions, such as repairing the hose and preventing future wear, could have been implemented, and the hazard could be closely monitored to avoid future incidents.

                        When risk assessing or inspecting hydraulic hoses, consider:

                        • The age of the hoses

                        • The condition of the hoses

                        • Rub marks on a machine’s paint from hose contact

                        • Wear on the hose’s external rubber coating

                        • The existence of hydraulic leaks

                        Identifying these issues early can go a long way to promptly reducing the risk of hazards and mitigating the potential for incidents to occur.

                         

                        For more information on hydraulic fluid safety around machinery, see our other articles and guides.

                        Hydraulic hose safety

                        You can't hose down the importance of hydraulic safety

                         

                        Want to know more?

                        Managing machinery hazards related to hydraulic fluid doesn’t have to be difficult. Our team of experts is on hand to help! Contact us today by phoning 1300 728 852 or emailing info@assessor.com.au.

                         

                         

                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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