What is the maximum compressed air pressure for cleaning?

Working With Compressed Air – What You Need to Know.


There is not a legal requirement to restrict the pressure – but…

Compressed air is everywhere and in general it's a safe energy source when used correctly. But, it's not uncommon to see an air line in a production cell, used to blow out some tooling when cleaning down the line or changing over batches of work. If this is the case, then you should be restricting the pressure of this line owing to the potential danger. Although there is not a legal requirement to restrict the pressure – it is covered under the jurisdiction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Emphasis is on raising awareness of headline dangers of air compression use, e.g. orificial bodily entry, skin penetration, explosions and optical damage caused by particles.

Maximum compressed air pressure for cleaning is 30 PSI

Compressed air should not be used for cleaning, unless it is reduced to 30 psi. Then, it should only be used with the appropriate personal protective equipment and effective chip guarding. There are other much safer ways of cleaning in the workplace rather than using compressed air. For example, you could use wet sweeping techniques, vacuum cleaners equipped with filters or sweeping compounds to prevent the dust from being re-circulated into the air.


Safety Tips When Using Compressed Air

All employees within the workplace who are using compressed air should have undergone the appropriate health and safety training, so that they are aware of the risks and they understand how to avoid these risks. Here are some other important safety guidelines that should be observed when using compressed air.

  • All compressed air equipment should be kept in good working condition. Inspect it regularly and perform any maintenance as soon as possible.
  • All employees working with compressed air machines should have undergone the appropriate health and safety training. Make sure that only competent employees are allowed to operate the machines.
  • When you are inspecting your machines, make sure that you check the supply lines of the system and take a close look at the hoses for any cracks and damage.
  • Keep hoses away from grease and oil, as this can damage the hose materials.
  • The shut-off valve for the air supply should be located as close as possible to the point of operation.
  • Keep hoses organised and out of the way, so that they do not create a tripping hazard by being strewn across the floor.
  • The ends of the hoses should be secured, so that they will not whip around if an accidental break in the hose occurs.
  • Compressed air pipes need to be inspected regularly and checked for wear and rust. If the pipes are located within tight spaces or along machinery, they should be inspected for damage caused by vibration or friction.
  • Check the fittings of the compressed air machine, to ensure that they are tight and securely clamped.
  • Any of the moving parts in the machine, such as pulleys, belts or compressor flywheels, should be guarded so that they do not pose a hazard.
  • Never crimp or uncouple the pressurised hose, always bleed off the pressure before releasing any connections.
  • Make sure that all equipment is grounded, to prevent the risk of static electricity.
  • All employees who are using compressed air should wear proper eye protection as well as hearing protection.
  • Before performing maintenance on electric compressors, they should always be disconnected from the power supply.

One of the most important things to remember is to never point a pneumatic impact tool at a person, whether it is a riveting gun or the compressed air hose itself. Never use compressed air to clean a person’s clothing or skin.

Compressed air can be a very useful tool in the workplace, but it can also be dangerous when it is used incorrectly. Make sure that all employees have the relevant health and safety training and that safely procedures are followed for working with compressed air. With the right techniques, you can enjoy the usefulness of compressed air without the risks to your health.

Why not book a FREE Compressed Air Risk Assessment?

Compressed air is essential to many process operations in commercial and institutional settings - however, the risks associated with compressed air must be professionally assessed. To help identify these potential hazards Cambs Compressors provide a FREE individual compressed air system survey, which audits and provides recommendations, so you can make a fully informed risk assessment on your compressed air system.


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