Air compressors are machines that convert power using diesel, gasoline, or a motor into energy and storing pressurized air. Air compressors force air into a storage tank, increasing the pressure and holding compressed air until needed, and can be used for a wide variety of uses like powering pneumatic tools or filling tires. Air compressors are classified as low-pressure, medium-pressure, or high-pressure, and each type discharges at a different pressure-per-square-inch (PSI).
Basic Safety Precautions
Wear Appropriate Safety Gear
Keep yourself protected at all times by wearing safety goggles, hearing protection, industrial gloves, and a face mask.
Clean Your Environment
Maintaining your work space and keeping it at a cooler temperature helps prevent machines from overheating. Using self-retractable cords helps avoid any possible tripping or other accidents. Make sure to keep exits clear of any obstructions, and have an emergency plan.
Read the Instructions
Misuse of equipment is a major cause of personal injuries. Learn how to use your equipment and read the instruction manual before operating.
Air Compressor Safety Tips
While air compressors offer a versatile form of energy to use around a workshop, they can pose danger when they are not operated properly. You should always be aware of your surroundings and take necessary steps ahead of time to ensure safety for you and those around you.
Take It Outside
Some air compressors are electronically powered, but others that use diesel or other forms of fuel should be used outside of your home to avoid emitting toxic carbon monoxide fumes. If you do own a model that is used indoors, keep it away from any moist or wet areas and ensure that its location is well ventilated.
Inspect Prior to Use
An important habit to form before using your air compressor is inspecting the machine for any wear or tear that could hinder efficiency. Even the smallest leak could cause the hose or other parts of the machine to blow during the change of pressure. If you do find any leaks, whether oil or air, do not use your machine until it is fixed. Rust makes a compressor tank prone to combustion, and should always be replaced at the first signs of rusting.
Checking the hose of your air compressor is also a priority, making sure that the hose will not kink or bend when in use. Your hose not being properly connected will affect the performance of the machine. Also, a self-retracting cord is a great feature to look for when purchasing or renting an air compressor, as excess cord is consolidated into one spot to reduce the risk of injury and creating a tripping hazard.
Maintenance of your machine will help keep your air compressor working efficiently and for longer, so have your compressor checked by a professional regularly. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding your air compressor’s maintenance. Other maintenance can include checking operating temperatures, changing the oil, checking the air filter’s pressure, tightening any loose nuts or bolts, cleaning the intake valves, and draining condensate from the tank. By upkeeping your machine, you have less worry of performance issues that can lead to costly repairs and downtime.
Use an OSHA-Approved Nozzle
OSHA-approved nozzles have been developed to adhere to specific regulations to avoid bodily harm. If a nozzle is bad, it can release air at extremely high pressures that can break skin. OSHA-approved nozzles have safety mechanisms that control the flow of air to reduce potential injuries.
When installing, removing, fine-tuning, or doing maintenance on your air compressor or any connected powered tools, make sure you turn the power off. If you feel a tool start to malfunction, do not take hold of the tool and turn off the machine’s valve. Even if going on a short break or taking time away from the machine, turn off the machine when it is not in current use or will go unused for any amount of time.
Air Compressor Danger Prevention
Almost all workshop accidents can be prevented by using caution, common sense, and being aware of your surroundings. Anyone who operates an air compressor should understand what an air compressor is capable of doing to the human body, so it’s important to look at a few risks that these machines can do to try and avoid future mishap.
Common dangers of air compressors include bodily harm, fire and electrical hazards, explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning, hearing damage, and trips or falls. As long as you can recognize the dangers that present themselves when using heavy machinery like this, you shouldn’t have to worry about having an air compressor related accident happen.
Air Compressor Rentals
Whether you need scaffolds, power tools, lawnmowers, or anything in between, Elephant Construction Solutions can help you complete your next project. We provide the Rio Grande Valley with the best construction equipment for rent, including oil-free air compressor rental, air tool rental, generator rental, and more.
Visit us today to get your free quote for any machinery your site may need. Whether it’s as simple as a lawnmower, as important as scaffolding, or as small as a nail gun, we have the tools you need to successfully finish your next project and stay under budget while doing it.