A failure to adequately isolate hydraulics on a mobile crusher has resulted in a hydraulic pressure related injury at a NZ quarry.
A recent MinEx Alert has, once again, drawn attention to a frequent cause of injury in the mining and quarrying industry.
The MinEx Alert stated “Following a break down, a contract maintenance worker was called to inspect a broken ram that adjusts the crusher cavity on a mobile crusher.”
Industrial Hydraulic Safety – Dangers & Safety Measures – Isolate Hydraulics
“After a discussion with the site foreman, the decision was made to remove the ram and return it to the contractor’s workshop for further assessment and repair. As the ram was removed, hydraulic oil squirted out under pressure from the flange of the hydraulic hose into the face of one of the contractors and underneath his safety glasses.”
“He was immediately taken to ambulance and emergency, where he was assessed, treated and released the same day with significant eye irritation, which resulted in time off work” the alert highlighted.
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MinEx data on incidents with the potential to cause harm over the 30 months to Dec 2019 show 6% of all incidents (153 incidents) result from pressure release, 42 of which result from a release of hydraulic pressure.Minex NZ
Operators should ensure that:
- All energy sources, including electricity, hydraulic fluid, compressed air, stalled loaded conveyors, etc. are isolated prior to commencing any work on plant.
- Lock-out (isolation) procedures include a test to ensure all sources of energy have been released or isolated prior to commencing work.
- All workers are trained and regularly assessed as competent in isolation procedures.
- All activities are adequately supervised, including workplace inspections and task observations.
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