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Safety Tips for Working with Air Tools

by Staff Writer

Safety gear for air tools users

Pneumatic tools are the ideal tools for big remodeling and painting jobs, and they really speed up large home improvement projects. All air tools can be safe when used properly, and anyone who uses air tools needs some essential safety knowledge. Here are some basic air-tool safety tips to avoid some common risks.

Basic Air Tools Safety Tips:

  1. Proper maintenance: Keep your tools in good condition. If a tool jams or misfires, it can damage your work or injure you. Examine all tools for damage before use and wipe them down when you're done working. Periodically oil your pneumatic tools according to the manufacturer's specifications. Regular maintenance will protect you and your air tools.

  2. Safety gear: Use proper personal protective equipment and gear when working with air tools. Wear goggles to protect your eyes and wear a respirator when using a paint sprayer or blower. A work apron and a long-sleeve shirt will protect your body. Gloves can help shield your hands from cuts and scrapes. Hearing protection may also be necessary when working with an air hammer or chisel.

  3. Safe cleaning: Reduce the pressure to 30 psi or below when using compressed air to clean up sawdust, rock flakes or metal shavings. Wear goggles and other protective gear to avoid splinters and cuts from flying debris.

  4. Air pressure: Avoid exceeding the manufacturer's safe operating pressure for power tools, hoses, pipes, valves, filters and other fittings. Your air tools will work best at the proper setting and could be damaged by excessive pressure.

  5. Tripping hazards: Keeping the floors dry and free of hazards reduces the risk of slipping while holding your air tools. Use a hose reel to pick up the slack hose trailing from your air tools to the compressor.

  6. Compressor care: Turn off the compressor and release the air when it's not in use. When you're not using them, disconnect air tools from the hoses to prevent them from misfiring.

  7. Know your tools: Read the instructions for your air tools. Know how the mechanisms function and how to avoid or clear jams. Follow the safety recommendations by the manufacturer and always use built-in air tool safety features.

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