Safety Precautions To Take When Working With Various Air Compressors
A good air compressor can be one of your shop's most valuable tools. You can clean industrial equipment and machines, use air compressor tools, or fill your tires with air. Air compressors are relatively safe compared to pressure washers, but it’s always crucial to take proper safety precautions when using an air compressor.
Point it Away
Never point compressed air at yourself or towards anyone else. Don’t try to clean dust, dirt, or debris off your body. It might be convenient, but it’s dangerous. Compressors blow anywhere from 70 to 90 pounds of pressure. Directing this pressure at yourself or in sensitive areas is very dangerous. In some cases, industrial grade compressors have been known to blow skin right off your body. Even pressure as low as 15 psi can potentially cause serious injuries.
Wear Safety Gear
When blowing air on any surface, you run the risk of dislodging particles of metal, dirt, wood, or other debris into the air. You can breathe these in, or they can come back and fly into your eyes causing discomfort or injury. It also gets deafening working with these big machines, especially in confined spaces. Wear proper ear protection or fit the compressor with a muffler to make it quieter. Always wear a dust mask and safety goggles when working with compressed air. You need your eyes, lungs, and ears. Failing to use the proper safety equipment can result in injuries, workers comp claims, or lawsuits.
Use CCOHS-Approved Nozzles
Always use a proper Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)-approved nozzle when operating your air compressor. The nozzles are designed to limit the amount of pressure that comes out to reduce chances of injury. You might think that it’s more effective to leave the nozzle off, but you’re drastically increasing the chances that something will go wrong.
Check it Over
Give your air compressor a thorough look over before operating it. Look for signs of damage such as a large leak, which presents itself by shooting air through the hole in the line instead of through the hose in your hand. Never use damaged or frayed hoses, and store them away from direct sunlight and heat to preserve their condition.
Always take proper safety precautions when working with any equipment at home or work. Protect yourself, others, and what you’re working on by being vigilant in your work. Ensure that you know how everything on the air compressor works, especially if it’s a different brand or type than you’re used to operating.
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