Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

Hydraulic Press Safety in Your Shop

June 14, 2017

Hydraulic presses produce power, useful for fabricating any number of tools, prototypes and components. But the power that makes them so essential for industry can also cause problems for operatorHydraulic press safety kit with Guards and interlocks switchess. That’s why RK Machinery builds safety into every machine.

To further protect operators and workers in the vicinity of your hydraulic press, the company now sells its Security Kit. Here is a look at hydraulic press safety considerations, based on OSHA safety standards, and a look inside the Security Kit.

What Can Go Wrong

According to OSHA, the hydraulic press requires operator involvement throughout the job cycle, which increases the chances that something can go wrong. The big danger points are when workers:


  • Feed stock into the press
  • Position the stock
  • Start and stop the press cycle
  • Remove the parts when they are ready

At each of these points, because the operator is interacting with the press, an accident can happen. For example, hands or other parts of the body too near the press can lead to serious injury.

And, as is often the case, material fed into the press can have sharp edges, be cumbersome and heavy, or have a slippery texture. All of this means an accident can happen.

OSHA Safety Standards for Shop Safety

Worker safety isn’t just a machine shop concern. In both Canada and the U.S., there are legal requirements to keep workers safe. In Canada, it’s the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. In the U.S., it’s the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The first, and most important, step for shop safety is proper training for all operators and workers in a machine shop. When the dangers are explained thoroughly to employees, they know what to be aware of and how to protect themselves around a hydraulic press.

The second is a clean, decluttered work area. This reduces confusion, and can prevent slips and falls.

In addition, safety components can be added to the machinery. OSHA safety standards recommend several methods:

  • Barrier guards to protect the worker from parts of the machine
  • Two-hand tripping devices, requiring continuous pressure, so the operator’s hands are away from the point of contact
  • Electronic safety devices, like those that stop the machine when they sense the close presence of the operator
  • Hand tools to keep limbs away from direct contact with the press
  • Putting controls away from the die area
  • Dual palm buttons
  • Guarded foot pedals
  • Emergency stop button (E-Stop)
  • Enclosed pump and motor arrangements


Added Protection with the Security Kit on Your Hydraulic Presses

For over three decades, RK Machinery has been making hydraulic presses in North America that are considered operator-friendly. For example, the front security guard, standard on all presses, is a basic method of increasing safety.

To boost safety for hydraulic press workers, they have released a Security Kit, based on OSHA safety standards. It contains several add-ons that can reduce the potential for accidents.

The Electrical Panel, which is approved by the Canadian Standards Association, contains:


  • E-stop on electrical panel
  • E-stop near the levers
  • Safety switches on the guards
  • Jog mode, which advances without pressure
  • By-pass key switch
  • Additional manifold
  • Special electric valve
  • The pipe and wiring needed for additional installation

Guard components include:

  • Front safety guard
  • Back safety guard
  • Left-side safety guard
  • Right side safety guard
  • Sheet of one-quarter-inch Lexan both front and back

For worker protection, the press automatically switches to jog mode at low pressure when any of the four guards are opened. The operator can get around this by turning the key to the on position. When he does this, the press moves to full pressure, even if the guards are open.

RK Machinery is proud of its reputation for customizing hydraulic presses to suit any need. The same is true of its Security Kit. The company can adapt the components to fit the requirements of your shop.

Interested in boosting hydraulic press safety in your shop? Call RK Machinery today to find out how the Security Kit can keep your workers protected.