Hose safety is a pressing issue that, if taken lightly, can lead to damaged equipment and even serious injury. Thankfully there are products on the market, as well as safety precautions, you can take to make sure you and your equipment remain safe while working with your hydraulic hoses.
Let’s get started.
1. Quick Couplings
Quick couplings are a great way to improve the safety of your hoses. They can be repeatedly connected and disconnected without fear of ruining the connections.
A quick coupling has a male end that can be easily inserted into a female socket, resulting in a tight, leak free seal.
In high-pressure applications, a hose can accidentally disconnect. With a quick coupling, the risk of accidental disconnection is minimal.
Different quick coupling designs are on the market to fit most connection needs.
- The one-way design is used when a coupling is clamp mounted.
- The sleeve is designed to break away with a tool.
- The two-way sleeve allows for a one handed disconnection by twisting and pulling the ends to break the connection.
- The flat face design is one of the most common quick coupling designs. It can push to connect or be threaded for a screw in connection.
There are many more varieties of quick couplings, designed to provide the best seal possible for your application, all with minimal accidental breakaway risks.
2. Hose Restraints
Restraints for your hydraulic hoses is another good way to improve your hose assembly safety. When a hose is reaching the point of failure at the fitting, the risk of the hose coming loose increases.
The pressure from the media passing through the hose can cause it to whip around once it has broken free. This can cause serious injury as well as damage to the equipment.
A hose whip restraint can prevent the whipping action of the pressurized hose, creating a safer environment for employees and helping to prevent major equipment damage.
Hose restraints are not to be confused for, nor used in place of properly crimping hoses to the fitting. Correctly crimping the hose to the fitting is an imperative step when constructing the hose assembly and preventing premature hose failure at the fitting.
3. Line-Of-Sight Hose Sleeves
Using a line-of-sight hose sleeve can increase your hose safety by protecting employees from pinhole leaks and other hose failures.
The sleeve, while tightly woven, is incredibly stretchy and can expand to absorb the pressure of a hose leak or burst. The construction of the sleeve is typically made from nylon which works to contain the leaking fluids.
The sleeve is not sealed, so the leaking fluids will eventually leak from the ends, just at a slower rate than if the leak had not been initially contained. These sleeves are also used to protect the hose from external damage that can occur through regular use.
4. Regular Maintenance
Above and beyond safety mechanisms like restraints and sleeves, regular predictive maintenance is one of the best steps to increasing hose safety.
Through a predictive maintenance routine, you can identify hose failures before they happen, preventing possible damage to equipment and injury to employees.
Pro tip: Use a piece of cardboard when looking for pinhole leaks and check for any twisting or cuts. If you find any wear, replace the hose and check to make sure the hose assembly is properly assembled and rated for the application.
Understanding your hose assembly and making sure that you have the correct hoses and connections for your application increases the hose safety immensely.
Creating a maintenance log can also help with hose safety. A log will show you if your hoses are failing faster than they should and help you identify hose assembly mistakes or potential equipment malfunctions. This will allow you to fix any issues before disaster strikes.
Safety is everyone’s number one concern, but when working with hydraulic systems, safety is paramount to averting a serious catastrophe. By using the safety tools available, along with a comprehensive maintenance routine you can increase the safety of your equipment and the people who work with it every day.