If you are required to use mechanical flange spreaders while working at a factory, you may wonder how you can keep from injuring yourself while using the tool to make repairs. If so, use the following four tips for staying safe while you use mechanical flange spreaders at your factory.
Keep Your Clothing Tight
Before you use the spreaders to open the flanges on a pipe or hydraulics tube, make sure your clothing it tight around your body. Also, make sure your sleeves are either fastened around your wrists or rolled up above your elbows.
If you have loose clothing on, you run the risk of the fabric getting caught in the screw mechanism of the flanges. Also, if your clothes are in the space between the flanges when you pull out the spreaders or they slip out, your arm or body could be caught in the space, leading to serious injury or even death.
Wipe Oil and Grease off the Spreaders
Examine the flange spreaders carefully before you use them to make sure they are clean. If there is any slippery fluid on the tips, such as oil and grease, the lubricated surface could make them slip out from between the flanges, making the heavy equipment snap shut.
If you find any grease or oil on your tool, wipe them with a cloth. For stubborn residue, use a solvent to thoroughly cut through it to ensure you remove all of the slippery substances.
Set the Safety Pin before Letting Go of the Tool
Once you have spread the flanges and are ready to work inside the pipe or tube, take an extra second to ensure that the safety pin is set before letting go of the spreader's handles. While the tool is strong enough to hold the weight, the screwing mechanism may shift and come loose while you are working.
Having the safety pin set keeps the spreaders open, even if the screw becomes loose. When you are ready to close the flanges, simply reset the pin, and close the spreaders with the mechanism.
Close the Flange Spreaders When You Are Done
Never pull out the spreaders while opened, as this can make the flanges shut too quickly. This could damage the pipes or potentially hurt you or a coworker if taken by surprise.
Using the above tips can help keep you from injuring yourself while using the tool on heavy pipes and hydraulic machinery. If you have further questions about safely using mechanical flange spreaders, either speak with your supervisor or contact the manufacturer for further guidance.