High-pressure hydraulic equipment is normally used to undertake activities such as lifting, bending, pulling, and pushing. Considered as one of the safest methods of applying force, hydraulic power technology is noted for its simplicity and ease-of-use. However, it is the simplicity in the use of such tools which may lead to their abuse, inviting negative consequences for the users and impacting equipment function at the same time. Before you handle high-pressure hydraulic equipment, you need to make sure that you go through the standard safety rules and understand them accurately.
You should be ideally protected by safety glasses, safety boots, gloves, hard hat, and protective clothing and these are not just safety norms, but obligatory fundamentals as well. Improper assembly or operation is one of the prime reasons behind the occurrence of majority of mishaps and hence, you should ensure that you understand what each function is and how it works. You should avoid ‘overloading’ scenarios that may destroy the cylinders, seals, and the plungers. Make use of a gauge to specify safe operational loads. Before setting up or disconnecting a hydraulic connection, make sure that there is no pressure in the system. Check the gauge.
Place the hydraulic cylinder on a solid base that can bear sufficient strength. You would certainly not want the cylinder to disappear into the soil beneath it! Try to use a jacking base or alternatively, you may use a steel plate to distribute the load uniformly. Allocate the load across the entire saddle and place the cylinders in such a way that the hose and the coupler get adequate place when the cylinder extends. Wipe the couplers before connecting and keep the oil connections clean. Make sure that you avoid over-extension of the cylinders as all cylinders do not come with safety stop-rings.
Avoid using an extension on the pump handle. This will not only make the pump lose its stability, but may also make the system excessively pressurised which may invite dangerous consequences if the pump is not equipped with a relief valve. When you use a power pump, make sure that hoses and fittings are linked to the appropriate inlet and outlet ports of the cylinder and the valve. Make sure that the oil level is accurate. Check the pump’s electrical specifications against the supply voltage. In case you are using an air-operated pump, make sure that the air is clean as dirty air is one of the major causes of failure of the air motor.
Make sure that you do not drop heavy objects on the hose as this may lead to hose failure. Additionally, make sure not to carry hydraulic equipment by the hose as this can put undue pressure on the hose fittings, which may cause leakage. Keep hydraulic couplers in fully tightened form as loose connections may lead to partial or complete obstruction of oil flow between pump and cylinder. With lubrication determining the life and operating ability of hydraulic equipment, you should abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations on oil use. Periodic oil changes are an absolute necessity.