Among industry professionals, the knowledge that pneumatic tools are as powerful as they are dangerous is so blatantly obvious as to often be assumed of everyone working in the field, regardless of experience level. Put more plainly, anyone working with power tools generally understands the need to establish an inspection procedure, and to make sure this is performed at regular intervals.
Yet, as is typically the case with safety-related topics that seem evident, the assumption serves only to amplify the danger, which is why we are seeking here to establish a set of quick reference pneumatic tool safety tips designed to keep you and your employee’s safe while on the job site. Some recommendations on this list might come off as common sense suggestions. The aim of this pneumatic tool safety toolbox talk is to keep everyone in your organization safe, so nothing has been assumed.
- Regardless of the tools being used, wear PPE- Whether this means safety goggles, glasses, or face shields, putting them on can reduce the risk of being one of the 20,000 annual victims or workplace eye injury. In the case of pneumatic tools, wearing this type of personal protective equipment will protect eyes from attachments that unexpectedly come loose, or shards, splinters, and other debris created from standard tool use.
- Likewise, wearing the appropriate type of glove for the task, be it impact or cut resistant, can limit the severity or occurrence of a hand injury.
- Wear hearing protection.
- To lessen the odds of an attachment becoming rogue, use only those attachments recommended by the manufacturer of the tool in use, and make certain that there is a functioning retainer in place whenever possible.
- Verify that any pneumatic nail gun is equipped with a catch release trigger mechanism on the muzzle that prohibits the gun from firing until pressed against a surface. After all, these type of tools has resulted in nearly 40,000 hospital visits per year.
- Spraying off, or taking an “Air Bath” with compressed air guns is never a good idea, and can lead to ruptured intestines, eyes blown out of sockets, air pockets in the heart, and ruptured lungs.
- Install safety devices designed to prohibit the trigger of paint sprayers from being accidentally pressed.
- Insure appropriate pneumatic tool calibration
Beyond inspection and safety device checks on the tools themselves, the risk of injury can also be greatly reduced by daily inspections of the airline. Cracks and cuts in the line are early warning signs of looming failure, which can result in a whipping action that can impact nearby employees, as well as dislodging dirt and debris from the floor or nearby tables that can lodge in someone’s eyes.
Regular inspection of the air compressor itself is also recommended. Not only does this increase safe functionality, but it also extends the life of an expensive piece of equipment. To this end you should:
- Employ an air dryer and change it regularly
- Reduce risk of rust by periodically allowing the tank to drain
- Check the oil level prior to each use
- Maintain a healthy air filter.
Following these pneumatic tool safety tips should keep your business running smoothly, and ensure that you and your employees make it home safe and happy at the end of each day. For assistance with tool training, or any of our other precision tool services, contact Florida Precision Tool today.