SAFETY FOCUS: Stay Alert To Possible Hydraulic System Hazards

Did you know that a pinhole leak in your hydraulic hose can release fluid with enough pressure to forcefully and deeply penetrate both clothing and skin?

If you become complacent around hydraulic system hazards, serious injuries can occur such as burns from hot hydraulic fluid spray, and/or from whipping hydraulic lines. A hydraulic fluid injection is perhaps the most dangerous because it appears benign at first so the urgently needed medical care is often postponed. The result is likely to be painful, gruesome and life changing. There are many sources online to learn more about injection injuries and how to respond if they happen.

Hydraulic components need to be properly maintained and hose assemblies periodically replaced. Be proactive. Learn how and when to replace hose assemblies, establish a maintenance schedule and follow it consistently.

Regularly check all hoses and fittings for cuts, abrasions, cracks, and other signs of damage. Never touch a pressurized hydraulic hose assembly with any part of your body. If you suspect a leak, use a piece of cardboard, wood or sheet metal to locate it. Watch out for:

  • Hoses rubbing against each other or against other parts causing abrasion, that could result in hose failure.
  • Hose maximum working pressures (including pressure spikes) that go above the system’s maximum pressure rating.
  • Correctly fabricated hose assemblies – only well-trained maintenance personnel or a reputable supplier should be trusted with hydraulic hose assembly fabrication.
  • Hose bends that are too sharp or tight or folded over.
  • Hose bends that begin right at the fitting, or twisted hoses.


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