When Using Compressed Air, Handle With Care
What’s the purpose of a whip check?
Before using compressed air here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Inspect air hoses before each use. If a hose is kinked or worn, its integrity may be affected and it may rupture under pressure. Throw out damaged hoses.
- Protect air hoses. Place them along walkways so they are not subjected to damage from traffic. If they must cross an area with vehicular traffic, place them under protectors.
- When setting up air hoses, check connections to ensure they are tight and “safety-cabled” using a whip check. These ensure that hose connections don’t become projectiles or whip uncontrolled if they blow apart. Secure whip checks to the hose and not on the hose connectors and ensure they’re fully extended with no slack. Also, coupling connections should be pinned or otherwise secured.
- Never use compressed air to clean off clothing. If you need to remove dust from clothing, use a vacuum.
- If compressed air is used to clean surfaces, it must be regulated to no more than 30 psi. A face shield and goggles must be worn, and barriers must be provided if debris can be blown into adjacent work areas.
- If a hose connection breaks, move out of the way and stop the air flow at the source. Do NOT try to grab the hose to control it. Injuries have occurred when attempting to grab or step on a hose that’s whipping around under pressure.
Always follow basic compressed air safety practices to prevent injuries.