Emphasize the hazards.
Basically, there are three hazards associated with compressed air: air pressure, flying particles, and noise.
- Air under a lot of pressure can penetrate the skin, causing haemorrhaging and pain. If compressed air gets into the body through cuts in the skin, an air bubble (embolism) could form in the bloodstream, and that could kill a worker if a bubble gets to the heart or lungs. Furthermore, compressed air entering the body through the mouth or nose can cause injury to internal tissues and organs. Compressed air that hits an eye can blow the eyeball from its socket, and compressed air blown into an ear can rupture the eardrum.
- Air pressure of 40 pounds can drive chips and other particles into the eyes and face with the force of shrapnel. Flying particles can also cause cuts and bruises to other parts of the body.
- Compressed air is noisy, too. Noise levels can sometimes reach or exceed 120 decibels.
Make sure your workers wear essential personal protective equipment (PPE). It's a safe bet that some of your employees probably don't think about the need for PPE when they use compressed air. And yet it's essential for preventing the kinds of injuries just identified. Recommended PPE includes:
- Safety glasses with side shields or goggles
- Face shield
- Hearing protection
- Dust mask or respirator (may be required, depending on materials in use and the work environment)
Focus on safe work rules.
Make sure the line you're working with is an air hose, not a gas or water line. (Sometimes hose lines cross and a worker could be fooled.)
- Inspect the hose to make sure it's in good condition and properly connected.
- Keep air hoses off the floor where they can be tripping hazards or become damaged.
- Prevent sharp objects from rubbing against air hoses.
- Always coil the hose--without kinks--when it's not in use and hang it over a broad support, not on a hook or nail.
- When you have a choice of pressure, use the lowest pressure that will do the job.
- Never point an air hose or air gun at anyone--including your self.
- Choose a safer, better way to clean dust from your clothes, such as a brush or vacuum.
- Don't fool around when using an air hose. It's a tool that should be used with caution, not a toy for engaging in horseplay.
Employee Signature _______________________________________________ Date: _____________________________
Compressed Air Quiz
1. When working with compressed air you should all ways
a) Use the highest pressure to get the job done quicker
b) Use the lowest pressure that will do the job
c) Point the air hose at your face to remove dust
2. When working with compressed air you should never
a) Store the hose on the ground in a pile
b) Hang the hose on a nail on the wall
c) Use compressed air as a toy or engage in horse play with it
d) All of the above
3. When working with compressed air you should
a) Wear safety glasses with side shield or goggles
b) Use hearing protection
c) Use a dust mask or respirator
d) All of the above
4.Compressed air accidents can result in serious, disabling injuries and even death, on occasion.
a) True b) False
Instructor ____________________________ Date __________________