There are several legislations that need to be
followed to ensure the minimisations of risks and hazards. Some legislations
· Wearing PPE
· Pressure Equipment directive
· Knowing operating conditions
· Carrying out maintenance
When dealing with fluid power systems there are
several health and safety rules and legislations that need to be followed. When
working with high pressure then the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) needs to
be used which ensures the equipment is used for its intended purpose and isn’t
exceeding its strength and capabilities. The law states that the pressure
equipment have a maximum pressure greater than 0.5 bar. This law is from the
pressure equipment regulations of 1999 and this was adapted from the 1997
If the limits have been exceeded, then a failsafe
is needed and it covers the safe handling of examining and draining the
equipment. In a hydraulic system where oil is used then safe measures are needed
as high pressures of oil could produce high temperatures as the increased flow
could be explosive and highly dangerous. The same could be said for a pneumatic
system where air is used as if there was a leak or a hose had been damaged then
the high pressure of air will move uncontrollably and will be unpredictable and
cause serious harm.
The Pressure Equipment Regulations and the
Pressure Systems Safety act are to be followed at all times. With the pressure
systems safety act, it is important that the operating conditions of the
equipment is known and when inspecting or repairing/installing a fluid power
system then only a competent and trained person should do so whether they are
an employee, or an independent person hired because they bring specialised
expertise. The standards and codes of practice when designing and constructing
new equipment is especially important as it’ll reduce risks and hazards.
Knowing the operating conditions include whether a gas or liquid is stored,
contained or processed and if it’s a harmful or hazardous substance as this
would relate to COSHH. This also relates to knowing whether is a flammable or
toxic substance as this would influence the PPE worn and would also require
specialised and appropriate training. The temperature and pressure of the
equipment should also be known as well as instructions for the operating
equipment and knowledge of how to use the equipment if an emergency occurs.
There are several hazards to be aware of and if
the equipment is upgraded or is too complicated and difficult to use then
training is necessary to increase experience and improve productivity. Some
hazards to be aware of are impacts of blasts and explosions from the liquid or
gas. With industrial fluid power systems its vital that the materials are
suitable and can handle the different pressures and conditions. If repairing or
maintaining equipment, then a record of all work is needed, and this should
include if any issues occurred or all still there. If necessary, have
supervision and a safe place to work. Report any hazards prior to the
maintenance in the risk assessment and make sure the equipment is depressurised
and all electrics are off. If the equipment has been poorly repaired or installed,
then it is necessary to show this through various ways whether it be a sign or
barriers surrounding the equipment. If designing and testing the equipment,
then use it for its intended purpose.
Before using any equipment see that it is in good
condition with no damage and that it has protective devices fitted and a
failsafe device that will shut down the machine when it operates above its
capability. Regular maintenance is required as this reduces the risks of
accidents. The equipment should be depressurised before maintenance occurs and
employees should look for risks that can be avoided. Prior to equipment being
used or maintained, a written theme of examination is needed and followed to
Ensure the failsafe device is in a safe and close
position and are noticeable and that they haven’t been tampered with. After
checking the equipment before use, check it after it has been used to see if
any damage or potential hazard has occurred. When measuring the oil level,
measure using the gauges and not through the senses such as touch and if you do
have to repair the equipment use the correct tools and skills and if needed the
instructions. The equipment should be in the correct settings and should have
not been changed without authorization and if it has been changed then a notice
should be put up.
When using equipment ensure there is a
contingency plan and that you are wearing PPE always. Appropriate PPE is a
necessity and mandatory when working near fluid power systems and managers and
supervisors should provide the equipment as it comes from the personal
protective equipment at work act regulations 1992. Appropriate footwear could
be safety boots, googles and overalls. If it is necessary, wear specialized PPE
such as a face shield when disconnecting hoses and pipes. PPEs lower the risk
of accidents and PPE for the hands are especially important as fluid power
systems can get extremely hot and melt jewellery to the skin. Oil leaks are
sudden and can travel at an extremely fast velocity and if the leak travels
through a small hole it can slice through a body part especially if it’s heated
up. This is because of the personal protective equipment at work regulations
Another legislation is training, each employee
needs mandatory training in order to operate fluid power systems, especially if
there has been a change or an upgrade. Employees have the right to refuse any
dangerous or unsuitable work and can consult employers on the safety issues. If
they feel unsafe they should talk to their employer as they are responsible for
their employee’s safety. The health and safety consultation with employee’s
regulations 1996 is due to this.
Task 2 – P2
What are the hazards and how can it be fixed?
One hazard could be that the pump is heavy and
that the support is not working. This is dangerous as if it falls it could send
debris and oil everywhere. It could also fall on someone causing severe harm or
it could fall on something causing property damage. This can be fixed through
having the correct support from a chain hoist or an industrial jack.
Another hazard could be the heat from the fluid
as the fluid is under high pressure. This could cause severe burns and to
minimise this make sure all electrics are off and that the pump has time to
If there are any pinhole leaks wear PPE such as
eye protection and gloves. Oil travels through a pinhole leak at a fast
velocity and can puncture skin causing severe injury, gangrene or death. To
minimise this use wood or paper to check for pinhole leaks by moving it along the
If there is an oil leak, it will create a
slippery environment which would be another hazard and the effects would be
dangerous as someone could fall and hit their head, or the oil could be at a
high temperature and could cause burns. This can be fixed by having a suitable
container underneath the pump which can collect the oil.
If components are being removed, then the pump
needs to be drained to release pressure. This can be done by moving the control
valve back and forth and if the oil is overflowing then the accumulator needs
to be working in order to relieve pressure from the pump.
Fire is another hazard that can occur if the
liquid is flammable or if it has been compressed and to reduce this risk the
rest of the equipment needs to be examined such as the pipes to see whether
they can handle the pressure and if it’s the correct material for the type of
liquid the pump has. Another way to reduce this risk is knowing whether it’s a
sealed (pressurised) or open (unpressurised) pump as this would make you take
different precautions as with a sealed pump you can use a hoist and oil won’t
be falling out whereas an open pump oil could be more dangerous as oil would be
falling out everywhere.
Who might be harmed and How?
Anyone involved with maintaining or using the
hydraulic system. They could be harmed as the pump could be damaged and oil
could start leaking and the heat could burn them.
What are you already doing?
Providing PPE and training as well as maintenance
and new equipment.
Do you need to do anything else too manage this
Over pressurised air is a hazard that occurs when
there is a blocked outlet blocking flow or a compressor malfunction or
something similar. Over compressed air could explode as there’s a high pressure
and if there’s a carbon deposit build up then there’s a higher chance of a
fire. Carbon deposits build up through the high air temperature and pressure
which causes the oil vapour and droplets to turn into carbon deposits. This can
cause restricted airflow and to mitigate this you can turbo charge the
compressor which lowers the brake system pressure which reduces discharge temperature,
and this minimises the carbon build up. This could be minimised by the correct
maintenance of the equipment as well as using the Pressure gauge to see how
high the Pressure is. This can harm staff and visitors as over compression can
lead to an explosion which could cause the equipment to burst out which is
Noise is another hazard as compressed air is
incredibly loud and exceeds the 90db limit ruling and this can cause hearing
damage as well as the vibration which could cause the hoses to move
uncontrollably and unpredictably out of control which is a hazard as if it’s an
industrial pneumatic machine the hoses are a lot bigger and more dangerous if
it comes into contact with someone. To reduce this risk, correct PPE is needed
as well as a failsafe in case the equipment is out of control.
If hoses are ruptured, then the same thing will
happen with the hoses being out of control and being incredibly dangerous. If
it has a pinhole leak, then the same thing as the hydraulic pump will happen
with the air causing serious injury. To reduce this risk run paper or wood
along the hoses and report any hazards found.
The pressure of an air compressor is incredibly
high and can cause severe damage when it is not used for it’s intended purpose
such as using it to clean clothes. This can hurt someone as the pressure could
create an air bubble which can travel to the heart or lungs and cause serious
injury or death.
Another hazard for an air compressor could be
tripping over tangled wires and cables. This is even more dangerous if they are
misplaced and to reduce this risk, untangle the wires and appropriately place
wires out of harms way. A safe place to place hoses is overhead as this reduces
the risk of tripping and provides efficient access.
Any leaks or breaks in a compressed air system
can cause minute particles to be blown at extremely high speeds. Safety glasses
are required when working with compressed air systems as it can take out an
eye. An oil leak is a dangerous occurrence and if used near flames or flammable
substance then it can cause a fire or explosion. An oil leak is especially
dangerous when it is undetected and if it traces back to the air container.
Any foreign particle that enters the tank of the
air compressor is a major hazard and can cause a large explosion. Oil is
flammable and can cause an explosion when under pressure. Water can also cause
an explosion when it enters the air compressor tank. Dirt and grit can also
enter an air compressor, but this can be minimised if all seals and holes are
closed and if the filters are in place.
Overheating is another hazard as some parts of an
air compressor are ignitable, however this can be prevented by keeping the air
compressor away from flames or any equipment that produces heat.
Some air compressors can produce static
electricity and must be grounded or bonded if it is used near fuel, flammable
vapours or explosive atmospheres.
Anyone could be harmed with air and training has
been provided. Keeping track of the pressure gauge and keeping a clean,
space-free environment will minimise the risks and this can be done by all
staff including managers and supervisors.
Compressed air safety – HSG39 – HSE
Compressed Air Safety