Air Tool Safety 101

Compressed Air SignAir tools offer a wealth of benefits over electrical tools. They’re lighter, cheaper, and generally more efficient. The one thing that they haven’t quite improved upon however is safety.

Despite the lack of an electrical current, they are just as dangerous when used incorrectly. And in some cases, they can even be more dangerous. Regardless of whether you work at home or in a factory, here are five simple tips for staying safe when using air tools.

Follow the Guidelines

Read the instructions for all tools before you use them. Know exactly how they work, how to deal with malfunctions and most importantly each tools limitations. Tools guidelines are in place for no other reason than to keep you safe.

Use a Suitable Compressor

Don’t take risks when powering your tools. Use a well maintained compressor and avoid exceeding the maximum PSI. Turn your compressor off when not in use and disconnect all tools. If your compressor is showing signs of wear, read a few air compressor reviews and get it replaced.

Replace Faulty Tools

Never use a faulty air tool. Malfunctions can be both unpredictable and dangerous. Excess air pressure can cause injury. Conversely, a lack of air pressure can cause you to push your tools harder than normal which can prove equally dangerous.

Clean at 30 PSI

When using an air tool for cleaning, stick to 30 PSI. This is more enough for cleaning sawdust or flakes of any kind. Cleaning at higher pressures greatly increases the danger of flying debris.

Use in Ventilated Areas Where Possible

Where possible, air tools should be used in well ventilated areas. This is because in some cases, the air coming out of them may not be safe for inhalation. Potential problems include anti freeze and oil contamination. If you notice a lot of either, replace the tool sooner rather than later.

Keep a Clear Work Space

Keep your work space as clear as possible to minimize the risk of tripping. Only work on dry surfaces and take special care when working around electrical hazards.

Watch the Cord

One hazard that isn’t present with electrical tool is that of a hose whipping about. If you tear an electrical cord, it will just fall to the ground. But if you tear an air cord, it will whip around violently until the air is shut off. It’s therefore very important to keep an eye on the cord at all times, making sure not to step on it or otherwise damage it.

Wear Protective Gear

Finally, if there’s an air tool in your hand, there should be safety glasses on your head. Compressed air is more than fast enough to cause injury and that’s before we even talk about the particles released when sanding, hammering, or drilling. Whether you need glasses for filling a tire is debatable but for any other activity, there’s just no excuse. A respirator should also be used when using a blower or paint sprayer.