An air compressor is a device that creates compressed air. Compressed air has a number of uses in the industrial sector and is an important component in the transfer of energy. If you're not following the correct safety guidelines, however, accidents or even death can occur. Consider the following when using air compressors to maintain safety and avoid hazards.
It is vital that a user wears safety goggles when operating air compressors, as just a small amount of pressure can result in very serious injuries. A face shield is the best form of eye protection, as it will also provide protection from particles and debris. Safety glasses are not an adequate form of eye protection in the case of air compressors.
Users must also wear ear protection when operating an air compressor, as the noise of the machine can cause hearing damage with prolonged use. If compressed air makes direct contact with the ear, there is potential for serious and permanent hearing loss.
Pipes and Tubes
When using air compressors, make sure that all tubes and piping are labelled with the psi, which is defined as the maximum working pressure. It's important to know about the maximum pressure of the air compressor, as someone may use it without knowing, potentially endangering themselves or someone else. Valves should be secure, and any piping or tubing should ideally not be placed in an area that someone would be likely to trip. Insecure valves and tripping can result in an abrupt halt of compressed air, which may startle someone using heavy tools, which could result in an accident.
Air compressors should ideally be checked every day, as compressors have a tendency to leak air, which will result in large amounts of compressed air being lost. Users should also check compressors for oil leaks, which can leak from the seals and other components of the air compressor. If leaking, a possible solution is to tighten the air compressor fittings. Make sure that your air compressor does not use liquid sealant, as tightening the fittings will lead to increased leaking. Oil should be cleaned whenever leaked, as it has the potential to contaminate the compression chamber, which is a potential hazard.
When changing the oil of an air compressor, make sure that the machine is turned off, and if it was recently used, wait until adequately cool enough to do so. Adding oil while the machine is running or has just been used can potentially cause a fire and other related hazards.