Industrial Bolting Safety Minimizes Torque Wrench Accidents
Workplace accidents can lead to costly fines for the company and devastating injuries to workers. Besides keeping the working environment free of hazards, workers should attain controlled bolting training in the equipment that they are using daily. One type of equipment that can cause significant injuries is a hydraulic torque wrench.
Hydraulic torque wrenches, such as an Enerpac Torque Wrench, are hand-controlled tools with power precision to tighten and loosen bolts. Relying on hydraulic pressure, a driver lever and a hydraulic cylinder, the torque wrench is placed onto the bolt to secure or remove it. If the worker is not careful during its operation, they may experience pinched fingers or broken hands. They can also become coated in toxic oil injected from the torque wrench that can get into the eyes or on exposed skin.
Ensuring safe operations at all times when using a hydraulic torque wrench is essential. Here are 8 industrial bolting safety methods that should be employed.
1. Worksite Inspection
Inspect the worksite where the Enerpac Torque Wrench will be used. Remove all obstructions that could cause the torque wrench to malfunction or could pose a danger to the worker. The floor should be clear of debris that could interfere with hydraulic flow hoses. Only workers who will be directly operating the hydraulic torque wrenches should be in the vicinity to minimize the possibility of other workers becoming injured at pinch point locations.
2. Employee Safety Gear
Workers should dress appropriately to prevent clothing from becoming snagged on the hydraulic torque wrench. All clothes should be tucked in and gloves used to protect the skin. Workers should also wear safety googles or safety glasses. Refrain from wearing any jewelry.
3. Torque Wrench Inspection
Always inspect tools for possible issues that could cause it to malfunction during operations and areas in need of torque tool repair. Check for sockets that can be worn or cracked, and the hoses to make sure they are secure. Evaluate the sockets to ensure you are using the correct size for the nuts that it will be placed on. Remove all cracked parts and replace with fully functional components that are compatible with the Enerpac Torque Wrench. Also, lubricate parts to ensure smooth operation. Read the manufacturer's manual on how to properly lubricate or replace components.
4: Bleed Air from the Tool
If this is the first time that the hydraulic torque wrench will be put into use, there will more than likely be air in the system. Connect the hose set to the hydraulic pump value. Then the couplers at the other end of the hose should be connected. Use the remote-control pendant to cycle the valve and pump several times to remove the air. Then connect the hose set to the torque wrench to continue removing the air from the tool.
5. Torque Wrench Calibration
To prevent the tool from becoming damaged and injuring workers, the hydraulic torque wrench should be properly calibrated. You should also always use the torque wrench at the proper calibration level to prevent damage. Set up a re-calibration schedule, such as every 6 months, to accurately maintain the tool. In addition, you should always recalibrate the tool if it is dropped.
6. Use Proper Tool Handling
Never position yourself where any body part can become pinched by the Enerpac Torque Wrench. Never tilt the torque wrench or use any type of extension. Always operate torque wrenches with the reaction arm. Use an appropriate handle bar that is recommended by the manufacturer if you must hold onto the tool. Never stand in-line with the nut that is being tightened or loosened.
7. Loosening Liquids and Sprays
To loosen nuts, you can apply special liquids and sprays for the application. If you are working with frozen or rusted nuts, consider using a nutsplitter instead.
8. Torque Chart
Review the torque chart to determine the required torque pressure to use when tightening or removing the nut. Never exceed the pump pressure that is required. Once you reach the desired torque range, stop and remove the hydraulic wrench.
Any worker who will be using a hydraulic torque wrench should receive the proper training. Aztec Bolting provides on-site critical controlled bolting training for companies using Enerpac Torque wrenches. In addition, we can provide calibration services for your hydraulic torque wrench to maintain its operational and safety level. Contact us today to see how we can assist you with your bolting applications.