Tips for Safe Use of Compressed Air
August 29, 2019
Although it has become common practice to use air compressors across many different industries and workspaces, safe use is always paramount.
No matter how often you operate them and how easy you find it, never forget to follow safety guidelines as the smallest mishandling can cause damage not only to the machine, but to you too.
Compressed Air Safe Use Tips
Maximum Pressure Ratings (PSI) for Compressor Parts
Maximum working pressure (psi) should be identified for your compressed air system, as well as any parts that will be attached it. Tools like pipes, hoses and fittings must all have the same psi as the air compressor. If this is surpassed, a number of issues can arise such as faulty pressure, cracks or excessive velocity, so make sure you check them before use.
Make Sure Safety Shutoff Valves Are Accessible
In the event that anything goes wrong with the air supply or compressor tools, the air source should be cut off immediately. In order to do this, the shutoff valve should be located as close to the point-of-operation as possible.
Personal Protective Equipment is Essential for Safe Use
Whenever operating an air compressor, protective gear should always be worn. This includes:
- Safety goggles
- Ear protection
- Full face shields
- Respiratory protection
Normal clothing is not sufficient protection against compressed air and exposure can cause damage if not careful.
Convenience of Equipment Location & Its Instructions
The location of your air compressor should allow for regular maintenance inspections. The location for equipment instructions should also be visible for easy employee access, to ensure that your team is kept safe. With comprehensive training, your employees will be able to keep themselves safe as well as keeping the equipment in optimal working condition.
Safe Use of Hose and Storage
When not in use, hoses should be stored overhead away from heat and sunlight or otherwise located in a hose reel to avoid employee injury from trips or falls and damage to the equipment. Before using a hose, you should always check the condition of it and make sure that it is working correctly. Look out for holes, tears or damaged nozzles, and never use frayed, damaged or deteriorated hoses.
Don’t Try to Be Funny or Clever
Compressed air should never be used against someone, especially as a joke or to clean dust and dirt off them. It can cause damage such as a blown ear drum or blowing an eye out of its socket, as well as serious injury to the skin. As dangerous as it is, it should only be used for essential operations for work.
Air Compressor Maintenance from Air Power East
By performing regular maintenance, you will always stay on top of safety procedures and ensure safe use of the machinery. If you have any questions regarding air compressor safety and need some advice, contact us today and we’d be happy to help.