Compressed Air

Compressed Air

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Join HSI Chief Safety Officer Jill James as she visits environmental health and safety professionals in their workplaces to explore important workplace safety topics. This video describes the hazards associated with compressed air use and what a proper nozzle fitting looks like.

Video Transcript:

My name is Jill, Chief Safety Officer with HSI. I'm a former OSHA inspector here to help you identify and correct workplace safety training hazards.

Compressed air lines are often used in many places of employment to do cleaning. And so you might find a compressed air line that looks like this that employees are using to blow parts clean. There's a hazard associated with these, however we don't want to injure an employee with this compressed air line and here's how it can happen. If the compressor that this air line is connected to is set at 30 psi or greater and the employee who's operating this has a cut or an abrasion in their skin, they could get air in that cut or abrasion and it could hurt them. And so how do we get around not having to turn the compressor down to 30 psi or less, which is something no one wants to do. Well we want to have the proper fitting on the end of the compressed air line, and what's a proper fitting? A proper fitting is something that's vented on the end so that you can't dead-end the air against your skin where you might have a cut or abrasion where air could enter your bloodstream. And so this particular gun is not vented, and you may also see these kind that have been put together by places to get into cleaning in certain areas this is also not vented.

So what does a vented nozzle and look like? Well oftentimes they're a short brass fitting, maybe about this long that has a hole drilled on either side so that if the employee accidentally got the air line against their skin, the air would be distributed a different way and it would reduce that psi and it couldn't get into their bloodstream that way. So can you buy ends that look similar to this that are vented yes you can. Can you vent nozzles like this? Yes you can but this is something you'd want to look for in your safety inspections. It's very common find or sometimes you might see the right kind of fitting with the with the holes drilled on either side but someone's taped around it. You want to remove that tape so that it's not a danger to the employee if they accidentally come in contact with that air, or if they have a cut or an abrasion in their skin.

I hope you gained a safety skill today, if you know someone who needs this go ahead and pass it on.

Safety is everyone's business.

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