The whole issue of hydraulics and the need to make sure that all equipment is tested and properly maintained is nicely illustrated with an event that took place in Canada.
OK it is an airplane and not a lift, but the principle remains the same, so make sure that your equipment is tested or you too could fall foul of a nasty incident.
Here’s the details…
The Hercules was taking off during a Rescue Exercise. As it did so a near disastrous fire that erupted, the likely cause being a hydraulic line that broke next to an electrical power cable.
The harrowing incident forced the nine crew members to scramble to safety and left the $35-million plane badly damaged, and all because of malfunctioning hydraulic equipment in the rear of the plane. They said:-
"The investigation team identified that a stainless steel braided flexible hydraulic line associated with the auxiliary hydraulic-system pump was breached where it routed next to an electrical power cable," and that "The ongoing investigation is focused on the maintenance history of the auxiliary hydraulic system."
The report described how the plane was rumbling down the runway when the loadmaster in the cargo compartment at the back of the plane was all but engulfed in a fireball just as the plane became airborne.
They managed to abort the takeoff and with the engines shut down, the nine crew members aboard were able to scramble from the plane. Only one crew member was slightly hurt, which looks pretty lucky to me.
All of this just goes to show how important it is to get your hydraulic systems tested!