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Air Gun Safety

Are there employees using air guns for cleaning purposes at your facility? If so, are you aware of the OSHA stipulations regarding the safe use of compressed air?

29 CFR 1910.242 stipulates that compressed air cannot be used for cleaning purposes except when reduced to less than 30 psi. Personal protective equipment and effective chip guarding must be in place even when using compressed air at pressures less than 30 psi. It is possible to use compressed air at pressures greater than 30 psi if the air gun is fitted with a relief device that drops the pressure below 30 psi if the flow is dead ended.

It is easy for air gun safety considerations to be overlooked, however serious injury can result from the improper use of compressed air. The risk of injury comes not only from the compressed air itself, but also from the material being cleaned. Small particles, chips, and shavings are distributed into the surrounding air when compressed air is used for cleaning purposes. Employees must never use compressed air to clean themselves or their clothing, and horseplay must not be permitted.

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