Hydraulic machines are pieces of construction equipment that use liquid fluid power to perform tasks. Some examples include cranes, jackhammers, and dump trucks. The fluid creates power and allows the machine to convert the fluid power into mechanical energy.
Hydraulic machines have fewer moving parts than other types of heavy equipment. Since they emit an immense amount of power, it’s essential to understand how to safely operate hydraulic machinery.
The Most Common Hazards
Before truly grasping how to safely operate hydraulic machinery, you want to know the most common hazards you will face. These risks include burning from hot, high-pressure fluid, cuts and bruises from swinging hydraulic lines, and hydraulic injection of fluid into the skin.
Be conscious and aware of your surroundings. Following these tips about how to safely operate hydraulic machinery will help you avoid enduring any of these hazardous injuries in the future.
Understand the Mechanics of the Machine
When you understand the inner workings of hydraulic machinery, you’ll be in the best position to operate your heavy equipment safely. If you’re operating a new machine you’ve never used before, remember to ask your coworkers questions and read up on the instructions manual as much as possible. Different hydraulic machines have different components. It’s best to have a good understanding of what you’re operating beforehand.
Regularly Check the Machine’s Status
You should perform regular maintenance checks on all hydraulic machinery before operating. If you fail to check the machines beforehand, there might be unknown issues that can cause harm to you and your coworkers on the job. Here are some things to do before you operate machinery:
- Check for oil leaks
- Lubricate cylinder rods to avoid rusting
- Change the oil as needed
- Replace hydraulic filters
The purpose of regularly replacing hydraulic filters and conducting frequent maintenance checks is to protect the machinery and your crew. Failure to periodically inspect the status of these heavy equipment items will cause them to quickly deteriorate and put you in danger.
Examine the Work Environment
Before beginning your work, check the environment for any potential outside factors that could cause you harm while working. You want to be fully aware of any risks once you begin operating heavy equipment. You should check oil temperatures, electrical connections, trip hazards, and poor ventilation. If you see any potential hazards before operating, be sure to take care of those issues immediately.
Running the Machine Too Hot
The quickest way to destroy hydraulic machinery is to let it overheat during operation. For each individual piece of machinery, you must know the highest temperatures the oil and hydraulic components can reach before it gets too hot.
As repairs arise, remember to never conduct service repairs while the machine is still up and running. When the day is done, lower the machinery to the ground before departing.
The safety of you and your machinery lies in your hands. Remember these tips about how to safely operate hydraulic machinery, and you’ll be knowledgeable and prepared for your next day of work.