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Introduction to this document

Compressed air safety procedure

If misused, compressed air can cause serious injury, or even death. For this reason, you should introduce a safe system of work for its use. Our procedure can give you a head start on this.

Compressed air safety procedure

If used incorrectly, compressed air can cause two major types of injury. One is where the force of the air can send flying debris into the face and eyes, and the second is where the pressurised air enters the body and causes swelling of the tissues or an air bubble to reach the brain or internal organs. For this reason, if compressed air is used in your workplace, you should ensure that you have a Compressed Air Safety Procedure as part of your safety management system.

Dos and don’ts

Our procedure contains a series of “dos and don’ts”. However, in order for it to be effective and to keep you on the right side of the law, it must be rigidly enforced. For example, the “dos” require staff to always wear the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with compressed air. This means eye wear with side shields as standard, plus using ear protection if necessary (compressed air can be very noisy). The procedure also requires staff to use the equipment correctly, such as always disconnecting any tools from the hose when changing parts, or to ensure that the hose doesn’t come into contact with any sharp edges. Equally, the “don’ts” emphasise the importance of never engaging in horseplay, or poor safety practices, such as allowing hoses to become trip hazards. There is room for each employee to sign to confirm that they have understood the procedure, so it also forms a training record. However, we suggest that you beef it up by making any breach a disciplinary offence.