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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Controlling The Dangers Of Compressed Air

There are two concerns in safety when using compressed air. (Flying objects and the air itself) Horseplay has been a cause of some serious workplace accidents caused by individuals not aware of the hazards of compressed air. Some television shows have shown bad examples on the use of compressed air.

Compressed air is extremely forceful. Depending on its pressure, compressed air can dislodge particles. These particles are a danger since they can enter your eyes or possibly the skin. The potential damage would depend on the size, weight, shape, composition, and speed of the particles. There have also been reports of hearing damage caused by the pressure of compressed air and by its sound caused by the nozzle.

Compressed air itself is also a serious hazard. On rare occasions, some of the compressed air can enter the blood stream through a break in the skin or through a body opening. An air bubble in the blood stream is known medically as an embolism, a dangerous medical condition in which a blood vessel is blocked, in this case, by an air bubble. An embolism of an artery can cause coma, paralysis or death. While air embolisms are usually associated with incorrect diving procedures, they are possible with compressed air due to high pressures. The consequences of even a small quantity of air or other gas in the blood can quickly be fatal.

Although many people know using compressed air to clean debris or clothes can be hazardous, it is still used because of old habits and the easy availability of compressed air in many workplaces. Cleaning objects, machinery, bench tops, clothing and other things with compressed air is dangerous. Injuries can be caused by the air jet and by particles made airborne.

When compressed air cleaning is unavoidable, hazards can be reduced. Use the lowest air pressure that is still effective to handle the task. A "quiet" nozzle should be selected. Personal protection equipment must be worn to protect the worker's body, especially the eyes, against particles and dust under pressure. Air guns should also be used with some local exhaust ventilation or facilities to control the generation of airborne particulates. The use of chip guards can deflect flying dust or debris, extension tubes will give the worker a safer working distance, or even air guns equipped with injection exhausts and particle collection bags are other options to consider in compressed air safety.

Source: Brent Bowlin - a health and safety researcher who has helped businesses in implementing safety programs. For help contact him at and for safety supplies and a safety program manual go to, they deliver anywhere.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Air Compressor Buying Tips

How important is air to human life? Since you started being aware of the things around you, you probably have considered the importance of air in one’s life and with the day-to-day activities that confront every person. Air does not only benefit all living beings. The use of a compressed air is widely used in several other areas, most particularly in the business arena. Compressed air is basically used as an essential part of a multitude of manufacturing, industrial, commercial, and automotive applications. The operation of an air compressor concerns a large percentage of the total expense cost of a plant’s utility budget.

1. How They Work

Air compressors work out by two different methods. The first is the air compressor that runs by electricity. The other one is the air compressor that runs by means of natural gas. Obviously, it is the air compressor that feeds on natural gas that is more cost effective among the two. An industrial plant will be able to save more and cut down the cost consumption when an air compressor by natural gas is employed. However, if the place for the working operation is located in an enclosed area, then it is health-wise to make use of an air compressor run by electricity in order to get rid of the gas fumes that may be a threat to the health’s safety of all the workers.

2. Suitable For Heavy Workload

If a business plant operates at a high level and needs an air compressor that will serve its purpose for heavy duties, then a two-stage air compressor is advisable. In more ways than one, this heavy-duty air compressor provides a higher level of efficiency compared to that of the smaller, single-stage air compressors. Also, this heavy-duty air compressor is also able to store large amounts of air needed for future use.

3. Types Available

If you are to buy an air compressor, it is best to think of its capacity to store compressed air. It is essential to consider the power delivered by the types of air compressors available in the market. A two-stage air compressor is more energy efficient compared to that of the single-stage compressor. Why? It is so because of the fact that the two-stage air compressor produces more air per unit of horsepower. Likewise, less heat is generated. Thus, paving the way for a longer life service. Take note that electric air compressors can also be utilized for light-duty applications. There are portable electric compressors that are handy to be carried from one location to another as you wish.

4. Excellent Results

Then, an air compressor buyer needs to bear in mind the efficiency rating of his prospect air compressor equipment. Surely enough, you would want every purchase to be not only valuable but capable as well. What will you do to an equipment that will not survive the tough challenge you require of it after every single cent that you have spent for it?

5. Considerations

In considering an air compressor for purchase, the ratings set by the mechanical engineers association can be the bases for the testimonies of the quality and protective features comprised into the equipment. Next, be sure that the air compressor that you are planning to buy includes a safety relieve valve for the escape of air if the tank’s pressure exceeds the maximum, a belt guard for protection purposes, and an enclosed air intake filtration system.

6. Attachments

The air compressors need to be secured with the attachments that are to be used for its connection to the air tube. The common tool attachments employed into the air compressor are the blowgun, a nail gun, air stapler, air sander, spray gun, or air ratchet wrench. It is the blowgun which is used for the compressed air to blow away the dirt and dust. The nail gun takes charge of the nail’s application even without the hammer. These tools are widely available in hardware stores for purchase.

When buying either a brand new or a second-hand air compressor, these things are to be carefully noted. It is for your own benefit both as the buyer and the user. Another tip to take note of is the frequency that an air compressor is to be used. If the air compressor’s use is called for in just a few times, then it is wise to just rent it. The tools as attachments can also be rented. If, however, the use of the air compressor is permanently required, then it will be better to buy one.

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