Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Forklift Hydraulic Fluid Fire Risk Accusation.

  1. #1
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    847
    Thanks
    387
    Thanked 218 Times in 132 Posts
    Rep Power
    204
    Reputation
    2860

    Default Forklift Hydraulic Fluid Fire Risk Accusation.

    Hi all,
    Long time no hear - although I do check on what's happening down here. Have posted this question in WP as well so I can get a broader response.

    Recently, I made a stupid mistake whilst checking the Hydraulic Fluid level in a Crown 3.5t forklift, three yrs old.
    The level wasn't showing up on the dipstick and so (being prompted, by my work colleague, like a good fellow he was...), I used a long piece of cardboard and dipped it into the filler hole to see where the level was.
    Not that this is the issue: But the piece of cardboard fell in and it was a hassle to get it out (Crown weren't called, as another worker got it out).

    I was wearing gloves and obviously didn't have the tactile feel and (I guess), the weight of the fluid as it absorbed into the cardboard, caused it to slip out of my fingers. Stupid me I know.

    Management is now telling me (that whilst I was trying to do the right thing), I created a fire risk as the cardboard could have ignited in the hot fluid, and I could have caused a fire inside the warehouse. Quote: "Could have gone WHOOSH..!!"
    Now the OSHA officer is involved because of this 'fire' risk!

    I'm fearing that the big bosses from HQ will get to know about this 'fire risk' that happened in the warehouse.
    And I'm worried that this 'fire risk' will go on my record.

    The forklift had not been constant use. It had been sat still for at least 20minutes as I was checking the fluid level.

    I have Googled what I can, but can't see if 'cardboard' would have caught fire, only 'aerosolized' fluid catching fire.
    The cardboard was the normal corrugated stuff. Not the shoe box type, but the packing box stuff.

    I personally can't see that a piece of cardboard could catch fire, but I don't know. So I am asking here.

    Thanks, GT250.



Look Here ->
  • #2
    Premium Member
    hinekadon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    still above ground level
    Posts
    1,112
    Thanks
    2,690
    Thanked 1,233 Times in 443 Posts
    Rep Power
    511
    Reputation
    22037

    Default

    Hi 250 : the flash point of hydraulic fluid is miles to high to go woosh in the first place Shit Ive seen broken hoses on diggers spray oil over the exhaust of a going digger and you get a whole lot of smelly smoke but no fire , so I reckon they are talking shit to you
    . Please treat people as you would like to be treated yourself.

  • The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to hinekadon For This Useful Post:

    GT250 (02-10-19),ol' boy (02-10-19)

  • #3
    Administrator
    mtv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    17,850
    Thanks
    5,207
    Thanked 11,561 Times in 5,694 Posts
    Rep Power
    4073
    Reputation
    166911

    Default

    Given it is management who are alleging the cardboard could have ignited in the hot fluid, I would be asking them to provide specific information of how that might occur.

    As a firefighter qualified with the management and handling of hazardous materials incidents, I very much doubt the cardboard would ignite in the fluid.

    I'm presuming the hydraulic fluid in use is of the petroleum-based type (the most commonly used type) and not water-based.

    Typical operating temperatures of hydraulic fluid in forklifts is around 80C.

    The flashpoint, being the lowest temperature at which the 'vapors' will ignite is typically around 210C.

    Note, that is vapours in air, not the fluid itself.

    The cardboard would not burn whilst immersed in the fluid due to over-saturation of the fuel-air ratio.

    The only likely scenario where they cardboard 'may' ignite would be once it was removed from the fluid, placed in the air and an ignition source applied, such as a flame, or a very hot surface, such as a very hot engine and even then, once the cardboard dried out a bit.

    Being saturated (soaking wet from absorbing the fluid) would actually reduce the cardboard's likelihood of ignition compared to if the cardboard was dry and exposed to a similar ignition source.

    Whilst I can understand the workplace being concerned of some potential, from your description, it appears they (management) may be overestimating the risk by not having a good knowledge and understanding of how the materials involved would react in this situation.

    I suggest the company obtain advice from Crown on the specific properties of the hydraulic fluid they use in their forklifts, but my thoughts would be the cardboard would actually be much less likely to ignite whilst submerged in the fluid, not unlike it if it were submerged in hot water.

    Hope this helps.

  • The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mtv For This Useful Post:

    GT250 (02-10-19),tristen (02-10-19)

  • #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    762
    Thanks
    187
    Thanked 814 Times in 367 Posts
    Rep Power
    359
    Reputation
    15854

    Default

    Were your Fingers in the fluid dipping the cardboard or fishing it out or was the fluid of a temperature that you could stick your Fingers in without burning them?
    If so, they are simply talking a complete and utter load of shit.

    Even if it was too hot to put your fingers in, before it comes near igniting, the oil or the cardboard, unless in the presence of a naked flame, it will smoke like buggery before it comes near igniting.

    I know a bit about oils and fluids and to the best of my knowledge there is nothing that would react with cardboard to cause a thermal reaction either. Certain other chemicals would but both a hydro Fluid and ordinary cardboard are far too inert to have any exothermic reaction together without other factors such as extremes of temperature, pressure etc.

    If they want to haul you over the coals, ask them for specific facts on how a fire could have occoured, IE, ask them to point out data to the flash points, combustibility margins in air, operating temp of the fluid in the machine etc. I'd also ask for them to provide a safety Video/ Bulletin that shows how such a fire could occur or for them to provide a demonstration of the dangers.

    There is endless crap like this, a million fear mongering warnings but when you look how many times the problem has actually occurred you are lucky to find 1-2 Documented cases that were in extreme and non relevant circumstances anyway. The other thing I have found is Like Mythbusters, TRY to create the problem and see how difficult it is. I have done that with a heap of things and found one has to go to extraordinary effort which negated the circumstance that has been hyped up to actually get it to occur. Saftey is a noble cause that is nothing but a cash cow and used as a control and excuse through fear of some form or another.

    I say put it back on them to PROVE there was a danger with facts and numbers rather than accept their fear mongering and panicked here say.

    These companies really are turning into a bunch of irrational sooking little pussies these days.

  • The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to george65 For This Useful Post:

    GT250 (02-10-19),hinekadon (02-10-19),Softek2 (02-10-19)

  • #5
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    847
    Thanks
    387
    Thanked 218 Times in 132 Posts
    Rep Power
    204
    Reputation
    2860

    Default

    Thanks MTV and George65,

    I thought so as well. Funny thing was I watching this video clip last week (before the forklift incident).



    MTV, I'll wait and see what else they come forward about. And if so, I'll jus say that I have 'spoken' to a Fireman who has had experience in hazardous materials etc etc and that he doesn't agree - and that work should provide me information otherwise.
    Of course I will not mention any names - just to let them now I have 'spoken' to someone with experience in this field.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that another worker may have seeded the fire issue thought into the managers head, and the managers ran with it...

    Once again, thank you MTV and George65.
    I posted here on this 'Electronics' site as I know the people who post here are very knowledgeable and sensible except for loopyloo

  • #6
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,863
    Thanks
    2,170
    Thanked 1,063 Times in 614 Posts
    Rep Power
    548
    Reputation
    18683

    Default

    what a bunch of bullies - I suspect they are trying to pin something on you for some other trivial reason , nothing to do with the forklift or some piece of cardboard. If they make an allegation its on them to prove it !! otherwise its another case of workplace bullying by management. It happens more often than what you think.
    I'm also from a fire services background ( now retired though ) and would say there is no chance of any fire from anything that you have done. The bigger risk here is some bits of fibre getting caught in the machines oil filter. no biggie anyway.
    Ive contracted to some of the biggest companies like Coles , Woolies , Toll , Linfox ,Coca Cola , Metcash etc and some of the WHS reps i have met on those sites in Sydney over the years are the biggest bunch of cockheads themselves , just trying to justify thier own jobs and making themselves look important by creating non existent risk issues.

    in my own opinion only -- even if all this blows over and no action is taken i wouldnt trust anyone in management in that company , they will find some other way of screwing you , start looking for another job.
    a small lesson for yourself is - OK , next time you are asked to touch something that is not your core job role , dont. Let them call in Crown at $200per hour and the company can pay for the priviledge of a favour you could have done them for free. Also , cover your own arse by taking discreet notes , photos , voice recordings of any meetings you have with management in case they are required later. A voice recording function on your phone can be your best friend. Heck ive even got a fake car keyfob with an inbuilt camera.

  • The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to VroomVroom For This Useful Post:

    george65 (02-10-19),GT250 (02-10-19)

  • #7
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    762
    Thanks
    187
    Thanked 814 Times in 367 Posts
    Rep Power
    359
    Reputation
    15854

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VroomVroom View Post

    Ive contracted to some of the biggest companies like Coles , Woolies , Toll , Linfox ,Coca Cola , Metcash etc and some of the WHS reps i have met on those sites in Sydney over the years are the biggest bunch of cockheads themselves , just trying to justify thier own jobs and making themselves look important by creating non existent risk issues.
    This is probably 99% of the core issue here.

    in my own opinion only -- even if all this blows over and no action is taken i wouldnt trust anyone in management in that company , they will find some other way of screwing you , start looking for another job.
    Was thinking the same thing myself. If they are that ignorant as to make something out of this, I'm left wondering how incompetent they are in other areas as well and come to the conclusion it's probably a great many things.

    a small lesson for yourself is - OK , next time you are asked to touch something that is not your core job role , dont. Let them call in Crown at $200per hour and the company can pay for the priviledge of a favour you could have done them for free. Also , cover your own arse by taking discreet notes , photos , voice recordings of any meetings you have with management in case they are required later. A voice recording function on your phone can be your best friend. Heck ive even got a fake car keyfob with an inbuilt camera.
    Good advise on both counts.
    That way you know exactly what was said and far better to have something recorded than not. There is a good chance they will say something wrong and then you have the tides turned.

    Employers are always whining they can't find good staff these days but then they carry on with shit like this and wonder why there is an Us and them attitude?
    I have come across a lot of management that may be good at financials and marketing and the business side of things ( or not) but have absolute Zero People skills and empathy with their employees. I remember speaking to several different managers in different companies about advertising initiatives and they couldn't even really answer my personal interest questions about what their products did and were used for.
    They just go from one company to another crunching numbers and going to lunches and dinners and don't know much about the company other than the numbers.

  • #8
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,863
    Thanks
    2,170
    Thanked 1,063 Times in 614 Posts
    Rep Power
    548
    Reputation
    18683

    Default

    I learnt the skill of voice recording all the important meetings myself when i was a manager , back in the days of cassettes lol. I never told anyone i did it either , but often needed to go back and refer to something just to reaffirm what i thought i heard.
    came in very very handy one day , i was the state manager of a now defunct engineering company in Parramatta , and the dumb trollop receptionist accused me of sexual harrassment , even taking the matter to Fair Work . When head office bailed me up about it i casually pulled out the SD card and replayed the audio. she was booted out on her arse right away. I copped a bit of flak off the bigwigs for recording everything illegally but at least it saved my bacon.

  • #9
    Premium Member
    ol' boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16,791
    Thanks
    7,664
    Thanked 9,424 Times in 4,785 Posts
    Rep Power
    3974
    Reputation
    163552

    Default

    It is stories like this that make me realise, i would NEVER fit back into the "Employment" role today....
    I go to places to do my work, not jump around at shadows.

    Cardboard in Hydraulic Fluid... You might wish look up what the gaskets are made of
    If u want to go on an expedition get a Land Rover, if u want to come home from an expedition get a Landcruiser!

  • The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ol' boy For This Useful Post:

    GT250 (02-10-19),Uncle Fester (02-10-19)

  • #10
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    762
    Thanks
    187
    Thanked 814 Times in 367 Posts
    Rep Power
    359
    Reputation
    15854

    Default

    I was wondering about the legalities and if the recordings could be used in court if push came to shove.

    I see TV reporters using hidden cameras all the time and publishing that footage and if memory serves correct, I have a feeling it might just be Telephone Conversations that are not able to be recorded. That is circumvented with the " Recorded for training purposes" Crap.

    Not all a bad thing either. I had a problem with my electricity account being moved to the new address a while back. I rang and TOLD them to make sure they were recording the conversation. I told them what the problem was, what I wanted and got the monkey in india to read it back to me and confirm things. Of course it Fked up again and I rang back and was told that was not what I asked for or what had been ordered. I told them they had a recording of the conversation, to listen to it and get back to me. They did with apologies profuse and they paid the substantial amount they wanted to charge me. Morons. They got trained and owned at the same time.

    In any case, legal or not, I would say recording things is a good idea so you KNOW what was said.
    I also found Writing Notes in a large Diary right in front of them is also very useful. The minute they say something and they see you writing it down, it puts the wind up them and makes them very careful about what they say. I have written down complete nothings and questioned superiors on it to confirm and the mere action of doing that throws them and makes them start double guessing themselves if they are at all incompetent..... which the people I was dealing with certainly were. Even had a HR person once ask me to stop taking notes when she was talking to me. Didn't even look up at her, just kept writing and said I want to make sure I have everything you say word perfect in case there is a need to refer to it for any reason in the future.

    I have always thought it's very important to put those that may cause you problems through their incompetency on the back foot and show them you have some power in the game and they need to be real careful and think their words and actions through clearly. The thing is, the bigger try hard and more incompetent they are, the better it works and the more likley they are to shoot themselves in the foot and give you some real leverage back.

  • The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to george65 For This Useful Post:

    GT250 (02-10-19),VroomVroom (03-10-19)

  • #11
    Premium Member
    ol' boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16,791
    Thanks
    7,664
    Thanked 9,424 Times in 4,785 Posts
    Rep Power
    3974
    Reputation
    163552

    Default

    If they are so concerned about a fire, why aren't they running "Non Combustable Hydraulic Fluid"?

    Last edited by ol' boy; 02-10-19 at 10:32 AM.
    If u want to go on an expedition get a Land Rover, if u want to come home from an expedition get a Landcruiser!

  • The Following User Says Thank You to ol' boy For This Useful Post:

    GT250 (02-10-19)

  • #12
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Mid North Coast NSW . Australia
    Age
    63
    Posts
    2,010
    Thanks
    1,225
    Thanked 407 Times in 267 Posts
    Rep Power
    330
    Reputation
    6057

    Default

    The auto ignition temperature of cardboard is over 400deg C. ... Hydraulic fluid is higher.
    Tell 'em they're dreamin'.

  • The Following User Says Thank You to loopyloo For This Useful Post:

    GT250 (02-10-19)

  • #13
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    847
    Thanks
    387
    Thanked 218 Times in 132 Posts
    Rep Power
    204
    Reputation
    2860

    Default

    Thanks a lot for all your responses people.

    I think I have enough information to tell whomever that a fire would not be possible - if I am asked in the future by the big wigs...

    Cheers,
    GT250.

  • #14
    Premium Member
    ol' boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16,791
    Thanks
    7,664
    Thanked 9,424 Times in 4,785 Posts
    Rep Power
    3974
    Reputation
    163552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GT250 View Post
    Thanks MTV and George65,

    I thought so as well. Funny thing was I watching this video clip last week (before the forklift incident).



    MTV, I'll wait and see what else they come forward about. And if so, I'll jus say that I have 'spoken' to a Fireman who has had experience in hazardous materials etc etc and that he doesn't agree - and that work should provide me information otherwise.
    Of course I will not mention any names - just to let them now I have 'spoken' to someone with experience in this field.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that another worker may have seeded the fire issue thought into the managers head, and the managers ran with it...

    Once again, thank you MTV and George65.
    I posted here on this 'Electronics' site as I know the people who post here are very knowledgeable and sensible except for loopyloo
    Pisser, so was i
    If u want to go on an expedition get a Land Rover, if u want to come home from an expedition get a Landcruiser!

  • #15
    LSemmens
    lsemmens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rural South OZ
    Posts
    8,249
    Thanks
    7,582
    Thanked 4,811 Times in 2,373 Posts
    Rep Power
    2118
    Reputation
    87480

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GT250 View Post
    Thanks MTV and George65,


    I posted here on this 'Electronics' site as I know the people who post here are very knowledgeable and sensible except for loopyloo
    Oi! Speak for your self! Knowledgeable and sensible................indeed!!!! [shakes head]
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

  • #16
    Premium Member
    ol' boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16,791
    Thanks
    7,664
    Thanked 9,424 Times in 4,785 Posts
    Rep Power
    3974
    Reputation
    163552

    Default

    Under Ground or Above Ground Fuel dip stick... made from wood
    Better not tell your OH&S Officer... He will be out pointing fingers

    Last edited by ol' boy; 03-10-19 at 06:16 AM.
    If u want to go on an expedition get a Land Rover, if u want to come home from an expedition get a Landcruiser!

  • #17
    Senior Member
    Uncle Fester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Commonly found in a pantry or the bottom of a fridge, searching for grains, fermented or distilled
    Posts
    4,703
    Thanks
    1,443
    Thanked 2,789 Times in 1,640 Posts
    Rep Power
    1284
    Reputation
    49278

    Default

    Be very careful making audio/video at your work place as you would need the permission of your employer.
    In court it could be still be used as evidence to witness a crime but you could also be prosecuted for making recordings without consent.
    This era of thoughtless consumption must end so we can encourage a world of creative geniuses rather than consumer idiots.


  • #18
    Premium Member
    Skepticist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,116
    Thanks
    669
    Thanked 651 Times in 512 Posts
    Rep Power
    413
    Reputation
    12400

    Default

    Hydraulic fluid could conceivably go 'whoosh' if it's sprayed around under pressure in atomised form such as from a failing flexible hose. It still requires an ignition spark or naked flame to do that of course.

  • #19
    LSemmens
    lsemmens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rural South OZ
    Posts
    8,249
    Thanks
    7,582
    Thanked 4,811 Times in 2,373 Posts
    Rep Power
    2118
    Reputation
    87480

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skepticist View Post
    Hydraulic fluid could conceivably go 'whoosh' if it's sprayed around under pressure in atomised form such as from a failing flexible hose. It still requires an ignition spark or naked flame to do that of course.
    Of course it can, but it is not the subject of the question.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

  • #20
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    762
    Thanks
    187
    Thanked 814 Times in 367 Posts
    Rep Power
    359
    Reputation
    15854

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skepticist View Post
    Hydraulic fluid could conceivably go 'whoosh' if it's sprayed around under pressure in atomised form such as from a failing flexible hose. It still requires an ignition spark or naked flame to do that of course.
    I have a LOT of experience with burning many different types of oil and done many different designs of burners to make that happen. To get it to ignite would require a Highly improbably fine atomisation to ignite. 99% of the burners I know of use compressed/ forced air to get the fuel to atomise finely enough and I can't think of any that spray the oil through High pressure only. About the only thing I can think of is a fuel injector in a diesel and that is spraying into a super heated atmosphere and under pressure that would normally be higher than used in forklift hydraulics so not relevant anyway.

    The temperature of the oil is irrelevant as dispersing micro fine particles in air cools the oil immediately. You also need the fuel (oil) to be dispersed in a cloud to give the right air fuel mixture. Burning is one thing but igniting oil in a non heated atmosphere would require a far tighter air to fuel ratio again. A VERY high energy spark of at least a Cm would also be required in the right spot where the gas speed was not too fast and at the right density. I have never seen atomised oil Ignite successfully outside a specially designed burn chamber. Vaporised, yes but that is very different to just atomised.

    It is also be VERY difficult to get an oil mist of any consequence to light off outside a closed chamber because no matter how fine the oil mist is, it tends to fall quite quickly. If the oil was vaporised by something like a Hot manifold where it phase changes from a Liquid to a gas ( Smoke), different thing but as a liquid.... I have spent many hours TRYING to make this reliably happen as have others and it is NOT easy to do even when you are trying. A naked flame is the most succesful flame but if you have a naked flame on a forklift, your main problem is not going to be the blown hose!

    Commercial "oil" burners use Diesel which is very different and much easier to light off than any oil of significant viscosity. Many people start burners on Diesel or kero because it is so much easier to light off than any oil Once a burn chamber is up to heat and there is sufficient radiated thermal energy to phase change the oil, then that is introduced once the burner is up to temp.
    Those that do use waste type oils from start up have a preheating element or a glow plug the oil is sprayed onto then a spark or pilot flame.
    Oil burner Nozzles are also very precision pieces of gear and the chances of getting a hose to pinhole as it would in order to have any chance of igniting would be akin to winning lotto.

    In any case, it is irrelevant to Dipping a bit of cardboard into a tank of oil. A hose failure would be an accident rather than a calculated action and would be a more significant chance of a problem, slim as it is, than dipping a tank which the notion of a fire risk is Ludicrous.

    I bet if you looked up industrial forklift accidents you would find many cases due to refuelling with incorrectly fitted bottles, bad valves and other things that would make accidents relatively common in comparison and no accidents on record of dipping the fluid tank with cardboard.

  • The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to george65 For This Useful Post:

    hinekadon (09-10-19),VroomVroom (09-10-19)

  • Bookmarks

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •