A torn or improperly assembled hose or faulty equipment can cause great injury or death.
Rory McLaren, founder and Director of the Fluid Power Training Institute (FPTI), has written a series of articles on the dangerous results of improper training of hydraulic technicians, such as:
Discharging High-Pressure Liquid Of Any Type, And Under Any Conditions, To Atmosphere Can Cause Severe Injury, Death, Or Substantial Property Damage
Even companies with vigorous “near-miss” reporting programs, generally don’t “near-miss” hydraulic transmission line failures, states McLaren.
McLaren provides some eye-opening stats:
- Less than 1% of the high-pressure hose assemblies made in America are tested before being shipped to the client.
- Less than 5% of the people that make hose assemblies have received formal training in how to make hose assemblies and only 1% have received formal training in fundamental hydraulics.
- According to the vast majority of people that work in the industry, their training consisted of a quick lesson from a co-worker and the rest was left to "on the job, learn-by-observation" training from that point forward.
Proper training from an organization like FPTI is vital to the health and safety of your staff. Associations like NAHAD (The Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution) and IFPS (The International Fluid Power Society) also offer training on hydraulic systems and safety.
NAHAD's Hose Safety Institute promotes hose assembly safety, quality and reliability and offers its members a continually updated Handbook for the Design and Specification of Hose Assemblies, and online Fabrication and Design Guides for five types of hose, which provide industry-leading performance standards for hose assembly specification, design, fabrication, handling and management.
NAHAD also provides exams and certifications to ensure that key fabrication employees fully understand the Hose Assembly Guidelines and to ensure customer appreciation of its member company's commitment to hose assembly Safety, Quality and Reliability.
End users that purchase hose assemblies from NAHAD certified companies are confident that the technicians making the assembly are knowledgeable in the proper hose assembly and testing procedures.
The International Fluid Power Association believes that believes that implementation of safe procedures is paramount in all fluid power systems. They recommend that, in every circumstance, factory, piece of mobile equipment, or application of any fluid power product or its controls, every employee and employer is responsible to know, understand, and practice the safety policies and procedures already in place.
To that end, they emphasize training and certification for all individuals working with pressurized fluid and have made available a downloadable document outlining the General Safety Guidelines for All Fluid Power Technologies.
They also offer free safety posters for your organization to use and offer a number of online Hydraulic Safety Training classes in conjunction with the International Hydraulics Safety Authority (IHSA), a leader in hydraulic safety awareness training. Read our previous post on IFPS' Fluid Injection Injury Safety cards.
There are many resources you can use to ensure your hydraulic technicians are properly trained. Make 2017 the year you implement or refresh a safety training program.
Tribute, Inc. is a member of NAHAD, NFPA, and FPDA and is a provider of business management software for hydraulic, pneumatic, process control and automation distributors who provide design and fabrication services. Click for more information about TrulinX, our Windows-based software designed specifically for complex fabrication projects.