Compressed Air

What is compressed air?

Compressed air (in this context) is a general term used to describe compressed air tanks and related equipment used to perform cleaning, drilling, hoisting and chipping activities.

What hazards are associated with compressed air?

The hazards associated with compressed air are relative to the size and type of compressed air equipment in use. The most common hazards associated with most compressed air set ups include:

1. Faulty valves, gauges, hoses, nozzles and tanks / receivers which lead to unexpected discharges of compressed air; causing physical damage to eyes, ears and other parts of the body
2. Overfilling of receivers which can lead to explosion and flying debris
3. Compressed air equipment configuration can cause discharge exceeding safe noise levels which can lead to loss of hearing

What controls may be used to protect yourself from compressed air injuries and illnesses?

1. Never use compressed air to clean debris from your clothes or body
2. Never use compressed air to clean debris off of a co-workers’ clothes or body
3. Wear eye and hearing protection when using compressed air
4. Store tanks and other equipment properly
5. Inspect and test pressure gauges and other items to ensure they are working properly
6. Store hoses and other equipment away from direct sunlight or other elements which could affect serviceability of equipment
7. Use correct nozzles which keep a deadhead pressure below 30 psi
8. Bleed pressure from tank and other equipment before connecting or disconnecting hoses and instrumentation

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