Machines from days of the industrial revolution made modern, massive-scale manufacturing possible for the first time. Although the classic hydraulic press has gone through multiple changes ever since its inception near the end of the 18th Century (1795), it still continues to be one of the most fundamental equipment in manufacturing facilities.
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Unfortunately, something that has been precisely designed to provide incredible crushing power, also comes with some very real and graphic dangers. To keep yourself and your employees safe, read on as we discuss a few effective safety tips to protect against hydraulic press accidents that are not yet as uncommon as they should be.
In order to be safe, it is important to invest in high-quality hydraulic press safety equipment such as ejection curtains, anti-restart motor control units, push button stations, ballistic blankets, gloves and face masks to name a few.
Which ones you need and which products will suit a particular hydraulic press the best, will vary. Get to know the make, model, strength, power requirements, projectile potentials, etc. first, in order to be able to buy exactly the kind of protective gear your employees will need.
Before anyone even starts the hydraulic press, it is necessary for every one of them to conduct a small inspection routine first. It must be made mandatory to check both the press and the safety equipment every single day for damages, leaks and malfunctions, before work can begin.
The hydraulic press can be divided into the following broad categories:
- Movable table press
- Movable frame press
- Air operated press
- Double acting press
- Manual press
Each of these have specific uses and require adequate safety precautions, but the last one, that is the manual hydraulic press, is not useful in industrial manufacturing anymore today.
Operative training is necessary to operate any hydraulic press, but advanced training will also be necessary, if the factory just received a new model. Even subtle changes in how the powerful machines operate can lead to accidents, if the operator isn’t properly acquainted with those changes.
When metal, glass, wood, etc. are pressed with the tremendous crushing force of a hydraulic press, projectiles are common, and unless the entire operation area is properly guarded with an ejection shield, any shrapnel from the crushed metal can hit anyone in the vicinity. When that happens, injuries are often fatal or severe at the very least. It is for this very reason that environmental awareness while operating hydraulic presses, or even while working near them is crucial to safety.
Another understated danger that can occur during press related operations often occurs during the loading or unloading stage. If the material is slippery/hot/cold/sticky/heavy there’s a chance that it will fall off and injure the loaders.
To prevent such an accident, manual loading should be avoided for heavy materials, while gloves are to be used while loading and positioning everything else.
Injuries and fatalities in a factory are neither good for a business, nor does it do anything to boost employee morale. As an employer, it is your duty to provide a safe working environment for everyone, so do everything you can to avoid any gruesome tragedies from ever occurring.