WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert about the importance of controlling risks caused by high-pressure hose whip.
Fatalities and injuries in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland have highlighted the importance for users of pressurised flexible hoses to fit whip checks where there is a risk of injury.
Flexible hoses under high pressure can be found in many different industries and can contain various substances.
The risk of injury from hose whip is greatest with high pressure or liquefied gases due to the rapid change in pressure resulting from a failure (for example, compressor air hoses, gas cylinder manifold connections and tanker hoses).
If an unsecured pressurised hose disconnects, it will typically whip or flail in an uncontrolled manner until the system is depressurised. This situation can create a serious risk of injury or death to persons within the radius of the whipping hose.
Where possible employers should replace flexible hoses with hard-piped lines or rigid, fixed hoses. If this cannot be done, employers should:
When it is not possible to replace flexible hoses with hard-piped lines or permanent anchors and brackets, employers should:
Identify hoses that can be subjected to pressure, including:
Select whip checks suitable for application, and whip checks should be:
In fitting whip checks:
Inspect and maintain:
“Where dangerous goods are used in hoses and whip checks, the occupier must ensure that any risk associated with the transfer of dangerous good from area to area within the premises or from or into a container on the premises is eliminated or, if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, is reduced so far as is reasonably practicable,” the safety alert said.