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More than Blowing Hot Air - Essential Air Tool Safety

Posted by on 11/7/2013 to Air Tools
Air tools—also known as pneumatic tools—are powered by compressed air. Compressed air certainly makes these tools stronger, but it also requires that users follow all safety conventions, as they can be quite powerful. 
This power might equal danger in untrained hands. Air Tool Safety regulations encompass everything from buffers, grinders, and drills, to chipping hammers, sanders, wrenches, and nail and staple guns. When using one of these or another piece from an air tool kit, you should always wear safety glasses. In some cases, head and face protection is also recommended. 
Compressed air can cause loosened parts to go flying, and protecting your eyes is extremely important. Always check to make sure that every piece of the tool you use is securely fastened before you turn it on, and only use manufacturer-approved attachments. It's also advisable to surround your workspace with screens, shields, or another barrier so that flying parts don't injure your co-workers or passersby. Even a simple warning sign that air tools are in use could make those around you more aware, and, thus, safer.
 Once your workplace is secure, the next step in air tool safety is to make sure your tool is in good working order before you turn it on. If left unused for an extended period, some tools can collect dust, moisture, or other outside elements that make them function incorrectly.
 Of course, you could avoid this altogether by storing each tool according to the manufacturer's instructions and by regularly cleaning and lubricating them. Because they're so powerful, many air tools are extremely heavy. In order to prevent over-working your own body, install a counter-balance to hold heavier tools. 
Jackhammers are a special concern, as they're both heavy and handheld. For this reason, they should have rubber grips so you can hold on tight. Those that operate jackhammers should always wear protective shoes, should the device fall or slip. 
 Finally, turn on any tool from an air tool kit and you'll realize that they're not the quietest tools in the shed. For that reason, the final piece of air tool safety is to protect your ears from ultra-loud noises, especially those emitted from jackhammers.

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