Improve Safety With New SPX Hydraulic Equipment

Improve Safety With New SPX Hydraulic Equipment

Learn more about IBT’s Hydraulic Training

“Hydraulics are actually very safe,” said Kevin Bowlen, a District Sales Manager for SPX Hydraulic Technologies, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of 10,000 psi hydraulic products and high-force tools.  “The key is making sure they are used correctly.”

Danger of Complacency

Bowlen not only helps companies find the right SPX hydraulic equipment for their operations, but helps them choose the right tools and training for maximum safety.

“Complacency is the biggest danger to workers,” Bowlen said.  “People get so comfortable working around their tools, they get lax—and forget that it may be moving several tons of force.”

More: IBT’s Training Schedule

Other Dangers

The high-pressure safety tips in this section are provided by the SPX Power Team®. Besides complacency, there are several other dangers involved when working with high-pressure hydraulics.  All hydraulics work on force—whether high-pressure, or low-pressure—and a single cylinder creates a force of 2 tons – 1,220 tons.

While many tools use 10,000 psi or more, it only takes 80 psi to puncture the skin.  Bowlen cites the following common dangers when working with hydraulics:

  • Injection by hydraulic oil into the skin
  • Cylinder failure
  • Load falls
  • Scalding by oil

Low Productivity

Bowlen adds that sometimes, the danger is not the risk of injury.  The danger may be more of a loss to profit or operations—for example, by not getting the right productivity from your tool.

“When I go to job sites, I always inspect their tools, fittings, and adapters,” Bowlen said.  “I want to make sure they are all rated to the correct psi.”

More: Check out IBT’s hydraulics solutions

Minimizing Risks

Besides making sure you are using your equipment correctly, there are other things you can do to minimize the risk of an injury, fatality, or simple loss of productivity.  Bowlen said that safety begins with training—for workers and managers alike.

“Understand how and where to correctly apply the equipment you are using,” Bowlen said.  “For any equipment, get separate training for both the operation and maintenance.”

To minimize risks, Bowlen recommends that you:

  • Train all staff—on both task and operations
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Perform regular inspections
  • Check for stored pressure
  • Never handle hoses under pressure
  • Conduct a routine risk assessment
  • Use warning labels
  • Review all operating and instruction manuals prior to operating equipment

Doing a Good Visual Inspection

According to Bowlen, you should perform a good visual inspection on a regular basis.  Look out for:

  • Component integrity
  • Capacity to fully advance rams
  • Proper valves available to perform the functions
  • Components that are rated to the correct pressure

Another tip?  “Size the job to have the components operate at 60%-80% of the rated load, not at full capacity,” Bowlen said.

About SPX Hydraulic Technologies

SPX Hydraulic Technologies is a global manufacturer of high force power equipment and tools.  An American manufacturer based in Rockford, Illinois, they double-test every tool they produce at (or above) its rated pressure for maximum safety.  They also do training in the area of high-pressure hydraulic safety for their customers.


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