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Tue May 11 2021

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Hydraulics guide follows fatal explosion

8 Aug 17 The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has launched a good practice guide on the safety aspects of pressurising hydraulic systems using an external energy source for diagnostic purposes.

The publication comes after the death of AGD Equipment employee Mark Seward in 2015, who was killed when a pressurised hydraulic cylinder exploded. A release valve, which should have prevented excessive build-up of pressure, was in the wrong position.

The safety guide was the suggestion of the assistant coroner for Warwickshire, who challenged the CPA to relay information about the dangers of pressurising hydraulic systems and what procedures should be in place to prevent explosions.

The CPA guide is based on the Health and Safety Executive’s Guidance Note GS4 – Safety Requirements for Pressure Testing but adapted for the plant maintenance sector as a training aid. It has been produced in cooperation with the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA).

CPA chief executive Colin Wood said: “The original incident involved one of our members, and we felt it was right not just to comply with the coroner’s instructions but go the extra mile in producing something permanent which maintains awareness to the plant sector both of the dangers and how safe systems of work should be constructed.”

Chris Buxton, director of the British Fluid Power Association, said: “The job of raising awareness of the risks when using high pressure equipment and the need to train and educate the associated work force is both challenging and continuous.  This CPA document is a major contribution to these efforts.”

All CPA guidance documents can be downloaded at

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