Safe and Unsafe Quick Disconnect Coupling Practices

Posted by Brian Swayze on Apr 18, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Quick disconnect couplings can fail without warning! Prior to the operation of quick coupling products, be sure to inspect and replace worn out fittings and safety devices. If a leak is detected during operation, release the pressure from the circuit before investigating the cause of the fluid leak. Do not use your fingers or skin to check for leaks, high pressure leaks of fluids can easily penetrate the skin and can cause serious injury or death.

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Safe Quick Coupling Practices

  1. Always wipe the coupling cavities and faces clean before connecting a coupling.
  2. Connect coupling before installation to ensure that it works properly.
  3. Always check the body seals before connecting a coupling.
  4. Shut-off power source before connecting a coupling.
  5. Always install a Safety-Check valve on a pneumatic line and/or compressor.
  6. Always use a Safety-Cable on large air lines (½" lines and larger).
  7. Always use a Whip Hose on hydraulic or air tools.
  8. Use dust caps or plugs when couplings are not in use.
  9. If the locking sleeve is inoperable, check the safety lock.
  10. Wear eye protection while connecting or disconnecting a coupling.

Unsafe Quick Coupling Practices

  1. Never hit coupling valves to release trapped pressure.
  2. Never leave couplings in the path of moving equipment.
  3. Never use couplings near a welder, flash heat, or fire / flame sources.
  4. Never use API modified sealants or over apply PTFE tape.
  5. Use care if you must install quick couplings onto black iron pipe.
  6. Never hit a coupling sleeve with a hammer or blunt object.
  7. Never over tighten a coupling connection.
  8. Never rotate a quick disconnect coupling under pressure.
  9. Do not over pressurize quick disconnect couplings.
  10. Never use a hose with a quick disconnect coupling to lift a tool.


OSHA Regulations Ensure Operator Safety

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Standard - 29 CFR, 1926.302 (partial):

(b)(1) Pneumatic power tools shall be secured to the hose or whip by some positive means to prevent the tool from becoming accidentally disconnected.

(b)(2) Safety Clips or retainers shall be securely installed and maintained on pneumatic impact (percussion) tools to prevent attachments from being accidentally expelled.

(b)(4) Compressed air shall not be used for cleaning purposes except where reduced to 30 PSI and then only with effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment which meets the requirements of Subpart E of this part. The 30 PSI requirement does not apply for concrete form, mill scale and similar cleaning purposes.

(b)(5) The manufacturer’s safe operating pressure for hoses, pipes, valves, filters and other fittings shall not be exceeded.

(b)(6) The use of hoses for hoisting or lowering tools shall not be permitted.

(b)(7) All hoses exceeding ½" inside diameter shall have a safety device at the source of supply or branch line to reduce pressure in case of hose failure.

Standard - 29 CFR, 1926.603 (partial):

(a)(9) Steam hose leading to a steam hammer or jet pipe shall be securely attached to the hammer with an adequate length of at least ¼" diameter chain or cable to prevent whipping in the event the joint at the hammer is broken. Air hammer hoses shall be provided with the same protection as required for steam lines.

(a)(10) Safety chains, or equivalent means, shall be provided for each hose connection to prevent the line from thrashing around in case the coupling becomes disconnected.

Regulations can be viewed in full at osha.gov, please check this website for updates.

For more information download our Quick Coupling catalog. 

Contact a quick disconnect product specialist for information on specific application requirements. 

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