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What Is FluidSafe™ Additive?

FluidSafe™ hydraulic fluid additive is a revolutionary product (U.S. and foreign patents pending) that was developed within the mining industry to improve worker safety and reduce operating costs. It is specially designed to aid in the detection and surgical removal of hydraulic fluid in the event of accidental high-pressure fluid injection under the skin.

FluidSafeWhen viewed under high-intensity blue light (450 nm), FluidSafe's bright green fluorescent glow can be seen under the skin, enabling the quick detection of an injection injury on site. This not only allows triage of cases not requiring surgery, but also helps pinpoint the exact location of hydraulic fluid under the skin, assisting in limiting soft tissue dissection required during surgery. The green fluorescent response will remain visible in the tissue for at least 24 hours, with no ill effects to the human body.

Another benefit of FluidSafe is that it helps detect leaks in fluid power system hoses, fittings, seals and other components. This decreases the consumption of hydraulic fluid, reduces the potential for equipment breakdowns, minimizes environmental damage, and helps prevent fluid release incidents. As a result, FluidSafe is ideal for preventive maintenance programs.

 

 

 

Without FluidSafe additive

This is a sample of hydraulic fluid without FluidSafe additive, photographed under high-intensity blue light
This is a sample of hydraulic fluid with FluidSafe additive at 0.015%, photographed under high-intensity blue light
   
In the case of an actual fluid injection, FluidSafe additive will enable the detection of fluid under the skin through its bright fluorescent glow under blue light. The fluorescent response will remain visible for at least 24 hours after the injection. This not only allows for faster and easier triage of cases not requiring surgery, but has been proven to assist in pinpointing the exact location of the fluid to limit the degree of soft tissue dissection required when surgery is necessary.

FluidSafe confirms a fluid injection injury
by its fluorescent glow under blue light
 

Pigs Trotter

Soft tissue in a pig's trotter 24 hours after injection
of hydraulic fluid containing FluidSafe additive

How can FluidSafe help protect your workforce, reduce operating costs and minimize equipment downtime at your mining site?



 

  1. FluidSafe allows for the quick detection of high-pressure fluid injection injuries on site. This allows triage of cases not requiring surgery, thus preventing the expense and trauma of unnecessary surgeries. When used correctly, FluidSafe also helps pinpoint the exact location of hydraulic fluid under the skin, assisting in limiting soft tissue dissection required during surgery.

     
  2. FluidSafe enhances the management of fluid power systems by aiding in the early detection of hydraulic leaks. When used in combination with a SafetyBlu™ blue light inspection kit or blue lens filter specially designed to fit over a variety of mining lamps, FluidSafe can quickly and easily detect leaks that are hard to find under normal circumstances. Users have reported savings in hydraulic fluid consumption of 5% to 7%, vastly surpassing the cost of FluidSafe.



Leak Detected and Repaired


 

SafetyBlu Kit

SafetyBlu™ SB-450 Blue Light Inspection Kit


 

Potential Areas for Fluid Injection:

 

Aboveground Areas

 

Surface

Workshops

 

Mine Areas

 

Development Panels

Longwall Systems

Outbye Services

 


FluidSafe additive is available in two unique blends to work with oil-based hydraulic fluids and oil-in-water emulsion hydraulic fluids.

 

 
  • FluidSafe glows a highly visible green color when viewed using a blue light source — on the skin surface, in soft tissue underneath human skin, and at leak sites on hoses, fittings, seals and other components
  • Helps prevent accidental fluid injections by pinpointing small leaks before they lead to catastrophic failures
  • Aids in limiting soft tissue dissection required during surgery, minimizing pain and disfigurement and reducing rehabilitation time
  • Reduces hydraulic fluid replacement costs by 5% to 7% annually
  • Has no adverse effect on the physical properties of hydraulic fluid, making it safe for use in any mining operation
  • Successfully used in a variety of open-pit and underground mining equipment since 2010
  • Non-hazardous and environmentally safe
  • Passed all industry standard tests
  • Used by major OEMs

High-pressure fluid injection is a major medical emergency on the worksite. When a confirmed case of accidental fluid injection occurs, all work operations must stop to remove the injured worker and investigate the incident ― costing upwards of $50,000 per hour in lost labor and production!

Studies have shown that the quick and accurate detection and treatment of a fluid injection injury by trained first aid personnel can greatly reduce the injured worker’s pain and suffering, disfigurement and recovery time, as well as improve worksite safety.

In one case study, there were 16 instances at three mining sites where, with the use of FluidSafe additive, paramedics were able to determine that fluid splashed on mine workers did not actually penetrate the skin. In all instances, the miners were able to quickly return to work and production losses were minimized.

In January 2012, at a mine in Australia that uses FluidSafe, a worker suffered a penetrating injection injury. With the aid of FluidSafe and an associated blue light inspection kit, surgeons were able to clearly see the boundaries of the penetration within the subcutaneous tissue and minimize damaged tissue removal. The lessened pain and disfigurement allowed the worker to return to the job sooner.

Peabody Energy Australia reported a dramatic decline in the number of hydraulic fluid release incidents following the introduction of FluidSafe in all of their fluid power systems in late 2010. In the three years prior to FluidSafe’s implementation, Peabody suffered 155 fluid release incidents. After implementation, they had only 39 incidents in a similar period. In each of those incidents, the use of blue light inspection kits allowed the quick determination of fluid penetration. Only one incident in 2012 turned out to require surgery, and the costs of unnecessary surgical procedures were avoided.

Over 9% of U.S. mine safety incidents involve fluid power systems, with 1% of those resulting in serious injury or death. Costs of an injection injury can exceed $750,000 between the worker’s medical bills and lost production costs. That doesn’t even factor in lawsuits or government fines (up to $100,000 in the U.S.)

In 2010 alone, the Sydney Hand and Eye Hospital in New South Wales, Australia reported 2,460 cases involving hydraulic fluid releases. As just one example, after the introduction of FluidSafe additive, Peabody Energy mining sites reported 27 instances where miners were splashed but no actual skin penetration occurred, as was determined by using blue light inspection kits. Unnecessary surgeries were thus prevented in 96% of the cases. In the one confirmed instance of actual fluid injection, the use of FluidSafe allowed the surgeons to pinpoint the exact location of the hydraulic fluid under the skin, assisting in limiting soft tissue dissection required during surgery.

In yet another example at a mining operation where FluidSafe had been added to the hydraulic fluid systems, a worker suffered a confirmed injection injury. With the aid of FluidSafe, surgeons were able to see the hydraulic fluid in the subcutaneous tissue and remove all of it in a single surgical procedure, minimizing the pain and disfigurement of the patient.

Fluid power safety and hydraulic injection injuries are often underweighted within safety management systems. The resources (links) below draw from a variety of sources to help you better understand the consequences of injection injuries and to provide information about effective fluid power safety systems from world leaders.