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Pneumatic Tools Safety Talk

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Herramientas Neumáticas Sobre Seguridad

Pneumatic tools are those powered by compressed air and can be used to complete work faster and more efficiently on certain projects. They are often used instead of electric and manual tools and chosen due to being lightweight and smaller.  As with all powered equipment, they come with certain hazards. Below is information on safe use and hazards specific to pneumatic tools.

Safety Considerations for Pneumatic Tool Use:

  • Always be familiar with the specific tool being used, and the manufacturer’s recommendations for safe use.
    • Know the type of trigger the tool has and if it activates multiple or single shots when used.
    • Ensure the equipment is securely connected to the hose.
    • Use recommended air pressure under the manufacturer’s rating.
      • If the pressure exceeds the rating it may work the tool too fast causing malfunction.
      • If pressure is too low it may cause excessive force to be put on the tool being used.
    • Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should always be worn, which at a minimum includes:
      • Safety glasses
      • Hearing protection
      • Safety toe boots or shoes
      • Anti-vibration gloves may be needed for extended use
    • Use a quick connect air coupler on the tool.
    • Tools should never be carried by the hose or the trigger.
    • Safety devices such as those that require pressure on a surface to use should not be removed.

One common injury with pneumatic tools is being injured by a flying connector or projectile such as a nail, staple or fastener. Care should always be taken to ensure connections are secure and in good condition. Additionally, be cautious of what is on the other side of the work being done and where tools are pointed. Last, only place a finger on the trigger when the tool is in use.

Always disconnect tools that are no longer being used and ensure hoses and cords do not cause tripping hazards.

Always inspect each component for defects before use such as leaks in the hose, safety devices are still attached, and connectors are in good condition.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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