Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Leak + Hot Aluminium = Fire
Our sincere hope for posting these incidents is for the reader to investigate if the hazard(s) described in each post are present in their own facility. Here is a recent incident that we recommend our readers review with their maintenance department;
Firefighters rushed to put out a fire in the basement of an aluminium company over the weekend. The local fire chief says a hydraulic press caught fire at one morning during the week of December 11, 2016.
The fire caused a leak in the hydraulic line, which lead to fluid leaking on hot aluminum and catching fire.
A sprinkler system went off, which helped to keep the fire under control. One piece of equipment was affected but no one was hurt.
We chose to omit the company name and location because we are going to talk about flammable vs. non-flammable hydraulic fluid and did not want this plant to feel that we are picking on them. The APSB has posted several incidents involving flammable hydraulic oil. In each incident the aluminum company were unaware that the hydraulic fluid that was being used was flammable. It simply was overlooked.
Does your plant use hydraulic oil that is flammable? If you do not know, you should investigate. Please do not fall in the trap of “we’ve never had the issue before”. We acknowledge that there may be a valid reason to use flammable hydraulic oil. But, we would