From production lines to heavy equipment, hoses and couplings are probably everywhere in your facility. As long as they appear to be working, it seems easiest to leave well enough alone until something breaks. That can be a costly mistake. While a leaking hose on a forklift might just mean taking a vehicle out of service for a short time, a ruptured connector on the manufacturing floor could mean shutting down an entire line. In the worst case scenario, an employee might be severely injured or killed by pressurized or toxic contents released from a broken hose or pipe. A hose and connector safety survey offers a straightforward way to catch many common problems before a failure occurs.
A Survey Offers Much More Than an Inventory
Doing a cursory review to understand what components are in use can help you determine what to stock to keep things running. Sending an employee around the plant with a clipboard and pen could get you that far. However, a safety survey performed by a trained professional goes far beyond making a catalogue of parts. It may provide insight into:
- ·Current and potential hazards related to hoses, pipes, and connectors
- ·Simple ways to mitigate risks to personnel and property and promote OSHA compliance
- Suggestions to improve hose and connector usage to prolong the lifespan of parts
- When and where non-OEM parts could be safely substituted to save money
- A routine replacement program that keeps maintenance costs more predictable
What Problems Might a Safety Survey Reveal?
This depends on the nature of the various applications in your facility. Issues might be as simple as poor housekeeping with trip and fall hazards from hoses strewn across walkways rather than being neatly stored on racks or reels. Or, there might be serious challenges with missing or incorrect parts that could lead to catastrophic failure.
Here are some common issues that might be discovered:
- Improper connectors: As one example, old-fashioned clamp style connections can damage a hose while barbed or serrated connectors are designed to work with minimal wear and tear.
- Broken or missing components: Cam arms in particular may be damaged by rough handling, causing arms to break or pins to come loose. This can lead to problems with operation or failure under sudden pressure. Using lockable, high-quality shock resistant arms may be a smart move for components that see a lot of activity.
- Loose and worn parts: Loose couplings may not have been properly installed in the first place, or they may have worked loose over time due to excessive pressure or vibration. Kinked hoses are prone to failure in the bent area.
More Benefits of Getting an Expert Opinion
A professional surveyor may have answers to the kinds of questions you didn’t know to ask. For example, there is no hose or coupling that is completely failure-proof. That’s especially true since there’s a human factor involved in operating equipment.
If a hose does accidentally disconnect, what will happen to the contents? Will they spray the person using the equipment? Can you configure a system so that if a disconnection occurs, any pressurized contents are more likely to be discharged away from the operator? These are some of the more complex issues that can be addressed by a trained eye.
The Process Gets Smoother As You Go
Since things change over time, an initial safety survey is the first step in an ongoing program to manage your hoses and connectors properly. After you receive the initial safety report, we can help you implement our recommendations and set up regularly scheduled reviews to catch problems before they start. Once employees are in the habit of installing, using, and maintaining hoses, pipes, and fittings with care, it’s much easier to keep the process flowing!
Contact our team today to schedule your survey and explore how we may be able to help you improve workplace efficiency, productivity, and safety.