FPSI logo

Fluid Power Safety Alerts


(Ref. No. SA-004)

The LETHAL STRIKE DVD is now available!


PLAY THE PREVIEW

Topic: Manufacturer of Feeder Breakers recommends, in their service bulletin, that you test their high-torque, low-speed hydraulic motor into a receptacle - to atmosphere! It is our opinion, that this procedure could lead to severe injury, death, or substantial property damage!
What this manufacturer recommends:
This manufacturer does provide a caution to the fact that you will be working around hot oil which can cause serious burns, and that you should protect yourself and your co-workers.

We ask; protect yourself and your co-workers how, and from what? This, in our opinion, ought to be stated.

Here is their recommendation for testing the large Feeder Breaker motor: "remove the motor’s case drain line, and allow it to drain into a container while running the conveyor empty, and then repeat the test with the conveyor loaded."


Why this manufacturers test procedures, in our opinion, are hazardous:
You are in all probability, untrained in hydraulics. You probably don’t know what the oil temperature is. You probably have absolutely no idea what volume of oil is going to discharge from the open end of the hose, or the potential velocity of that oil.

There is a problem with your hydraulic system, that is why you are testing the motor. However, you don’t know what the problem is, you are looking for it.

How firm a grasp do you have on the hose? When you run the initial test at no load, will you tend to relax because the volume of oil is so low? Are you prepared for worst case?

Have you seen what happens when a hydraulic motor IS defective, and full pump flow unexpectedly discharges from the end of the open hose, at extreme velocity? Will it whip the hose out of your hand, and either strike you, or spray you with hydraulic oil in excess of 200ºF?

So many questions, and so few answers? Only a well experienced troubleshooter will know the potential of what lies in store when you test to atmosphere.

There is no doubt that the outcome of this test is totally unpredictable, therefore, no matter how well qualified you are or how much experience you have, YOU MUST ALWAYS ERROR ON THE SIDE OF SAFETY, AND USE A FLOW METER!
(MOUSE-OVER ILLUSTRATION)
Oil blowing out of hose


Conclusion -
Hydraulic component manufacturers, and mobile and industrial machinery manufacturers, routinely recommend "testing" hydraulic components to atmosphere. It is clearly unsafe, and should therefore never be done!

There is overwhelming evidence that the outcome of "testing" to atmosphere is inherently unpredictable, and can lead to severe injury, death, and/or substantial property damage.

Our advice to hydraulic component and machinery manufacturers; train your service personnel on how to safely and effectively test hydraulic components. Train your technical writing group on how to write safety-based hydraulic troubleshooting procedures.

Bear in mind that the majority of the people who work on and around your machines are untrained, or not properly trained. If they have more than three days of training in hydraulics they are lucky!

Be absolutely emphatic about the use of proper test equipment - absolutely no substitutions!

Our final word on "testing" to atmosphere; don’t do it regardless of the source – it could severely injure or kill you!

The accidents we report are real, and the victims are real. The safety guidelines we provide are to help companies and individuals work safely with hydraulics. All guidelines we provide are general, and are not intended for one specific hydraulic system or machine.

WHEN YOU PURCHASE HYDRAULIC-POWERED MACHINERY AND/OR EQUIPMENT, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT ONCE YOU DETERMINE THAT IT CAN DO THE WORK YOU WANT IT TO DO, YOU THEN DETERMINE HOW MUCH SAFETY HAS BEEN BUILT INTO IT BY THE MANUFACTURER. IN ADDITION, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU, WITH THE INPUT FROM YOUR OPERATORS, MECHANICS, ENGINEERS, PRODUCTION PERSONNEL, AND SAFETY DEPARTMENT, FORMULATE A LIST OF MINIMUM SAFETY STANDARDS FOR THE EQUIPMENT YOU PURCHASE. ALTHOUGH WE LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT MOST MANUFACTURERS ARE CONCEREND ABOUT SAFETY, SOME BELIEVE THAT CERTAIN SAFETY MEASURES ARE AN UNNECESSARY EXPENSE. WE FURTHER RECOMMEND THAT ALL THE SAFETY STANDARDS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT YOU DEVELOP SHOULD BE REVIEWED BY YOUR SAFETY DEPARTMENT, ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT, AND BY THE RESPECTIVE MACHINE OR EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER PRIOR TO MAKING THEM POLICY - TOTAL SAFETY CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED WITH A TEAM EFFORT.

CAUTION!
The Fluid Power Safety Institute™ does everything possible to insure that the information and drawings contained in these documents is accurate, and the procedures are deemed safe and reliable. However, these are general recommendations only and might not be applicable to all situations.

You MUST have your engineering department and service department read these recommendations and make the necessary changes for your specific application.

The Fluid Power Safety Institute™ is not responsible for actions taken by untrained and/or unauthorized persons. ALL hydraulic system service, repair, and troubleshooting should be done by trained, authorized persons ONLY.


BACK


About the FPSI™ | Safety Alerts | FPSI™ Resources | Safety Products | Industry Safety Links | Contact FPSI™ | HOME


Copyright © 2002-2008 - FPSI™