There are many uses for compressed air in the workplace today. Compressed air can make workplace tasks easier by saving time and energy. The proper precautions must be taken when using compressed air. Training workers to use and handle compressed air properly will help reduce the risk of injury or accidents while working. Compressed air can be dangerous if misused it can cause severe injury or even death.
The following are safety guidelines for using compressed air to protect yourself and others:
- Air hoses should never be pointed at anyone, including yourself, for fun or to remove dirt from clothing or your body.
- When cleaning with compressed air, always wear proper PPE.
- Use safety glasses with a side shield or goggles.
- In some cases, it may be necessary to have hearing protection.
- If compressed air is necessary to clean dirt and chips from the workstation or work area, ensure the nozzle at the end of the air hose maintains a pressure of 30 pounds per square inch or less. Make sure that other workers are not in the range of flying particles by placing a screen around the work area.
- Replace compressed air with brushes or vacuum systems whenever possible in cleaning operations.
- Make sure the air hose is in good condition before using compressed air. Air hoses with less than 80 pounds per square inch are dangerous. Make certain connections, and couplings are tight.
- Remove all the air from a line before trying to disconnect a hose from it. The remaining air should then be bled from the line.
- De-energize the equipment by turning off the air supply.
- Hoses should not be left on the ground where they might become tripping hazards and could become damaged by vehicles, doors, or dropped tools.
- If possible, suspend air hoses from overhead.
- Flammable liquids should never be transferred using compressed air.
- Never kink the hose to try to control the airflow.
- Always examine the tool, connections, and the hose before using. Fix any problems before using.
- Never remove air tips or cover holes to make the air pressure stronger.
- Always use proper tips with no modifications.