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Service, Parts & Maintenance

Working Safely with Compressed Air

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Sunday, April 28this the annual celebration of World Day for Safety & Health at Work, a day that focuses on the health and well-being of all employees in the workplace. No matter the work environment - a construction site, corporate office, or engineering facility – it’s imperative that all employees not only know safety policy and procedures, but that the company focuses on these safety measures around the clock. Safety is a culture that must be lived to be effective.

In the compressed air industry, it’s especially important to be aware of safety protocols. There are potential hazards with every compressor and compressed air system, regardless of size. From compressor system installation to monitoring to servicing the machines, there are a lot of moving parts when working with air compressors. Knowing what to do – and how to do it safely– is key.

To celebrate World Day for Safety & Help at Work, we’re highlighting 7 tips that will allow you to work safely with compressed air & compressed air equipment! 

  1. Remember – Compressed Air is an Energy Source! Like every source of energy, there is inherent danger in its use.  

    a. Do not pressurize any vessel that is not designed to be, and do not exceed the working pressure rating of any pressure vessel.
    b. Be mindful of hoses – a broken valve, quick disconnect or cut hose will whip and can be very hazardous.
    c. Watch for flying debris – dust, dirt and debris can become airborne if blown with compressed air. This poses a danger to ears, eyes and lungs nearby.
    d. Compressed air is not a toy! Seemingly playful pranks using compressed air have resulted in death.

     

  2. Use Proper Piping – Only use materials suitable for compressed air when designing and building a distribution network. OSHA strongly recommends against the use of PVC piping as it can become brittle and will break sending shards of sharp pipe flying nearby.

  3. Read the Manual. Although it may be seem intuitive, the instruction manual accompanying your equipment contains a wealth of information about howthe machinery should operate. Sticking to the best practices provided in the manual ensures that your equipment – and yourself! – will stay in tip-top shape for as long as possible!

  4. Train Your Personnel. Only trained, experienced employees should be handling compressed air equipment! Do not allow untrained persons to work on compressors or related equipment.

  5. Shutoff Valve. When working with compressed air, always be aware of how to make it safe by disconnecting or isolating the point of use from the source.

  6. Your air compressor should deenergized, locked and tagged out electrically AND pneumatically while performing maintenance. If you are unsure of how to perform a certain maintenance activity, consult a qualified service provider. For best results, your compressor and air treatment equipment should be kept on a regular maintenance schedule by a trained and certified technician.

  7. Wear proper PPE. Depending on how it is being used, compressed air can pose a hazard that could affect hearing, breathing and eyesight. Protect yourself and your employees from exposure by using the proper personal protective equipment.

At Atlas Copco, safety is first in everything that we do. We set very ambitious standards for the workplace safety of our employees; we also strive to create a strong culture of safety & well-being!

Discover more about this focus here.

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