Shining a New Light on Fluid Power Safety

MEMO 2014
HYDRAULICS IS NOT A RECOGNIZED OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD – but, according to the Fluid Power Safety Institute, 99% of people who service fluid power systems are exposed to the same dynamics that can cause high pressure injection injuries!

Fluid power systems are widely used within mining to generate, control, and transmit power within equipment. And they are getting larger, using ever increasing pressure to gain productivity.
The hazard potential for hydraulic injection injuries is under-recognized because incidents don’t happen frequently. However, when an injection injury happens the consequences are typically devastating - massive tissue removal and amputation are common.

In 2010 the Australian mining industry became the global leader for fluid power safety - after a decade of investigating injuries and deaths. MDG-41 – Guideline for Fluid Power System Safety at Mines – was issued to provide a framework for fluid power risk management. A new product - FluidSafe - and a new technique using blue light to find leaks and injuries also emerged.

An overview of hydraulic injection injuries plus a case study illustrating relevant issues will be presented. In 2010 Peabody Energy Australia saw an extended period of improving safety statistics shattered by 3 injection injury incidents. This led to enhanced risk management procedures, heightened safety awareness and introduction of FluidSafe™.

FluidSafe™, made by Alerton International, is a hydraulic fluid additive specially formulated to be visible under blue light. It’s non-hazardous and remains stable within a wound for up to 24 hours – helping surgeons identify wound boundaries to minimize tissue removal. FluidSafe™ also saves a significant amount of money by aiding the early detection of hydraulic system leaks - saving costly hydraulic fluid, reducing equipment breakdowns and avoiding environmental mishaps.
Keywords: Fluid Power,Hydraulics,Maintenance,Cost Savings,Injection Injuries,Safety
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