Drilled Holes In A Pipe – Stop Violating OSHA Standards!

The photos below show one of the most common OSHA violations we see at EXAIR.  A  1-1/4” pipe with 5mm holes drilled every 1.5”.  Drilled pipe is a common practice in many facilities for two reasons – One, it is quick and two, is it easy.  The problem with this type of setup is the safety concern if the drilled hole is dead-ended against skin.  A pressure above 30 PSI can force compressed air into the bloodstream, creating the risk for an embolism – a condition which can be fatal. EXAIR’s engineered Super Air Nozzles can save the day.

5mm holes drilled into a 1-1/4″ pipe (Top)
5mm holes drilled into a 1-1/4″ pipe (Left)
5mm holes drilled into a 1-1/4″ pipe (Right)


All EXAIR products conform to OSHA standard CFR 1910.424(b), a standard that regulates dead-end pressure level maximums for compressed air products.  The designs of all EXAIR products are developed in such a way that if dead-ended against human skin they will never exceed the maximum pressure mandated by OSHA (30 PSI). In the above case, our Pico Super Air Nozzles are the right solution. With its recent nomination of the 1109-PEEK for the Plant Engineering Product of the Year Award in the Compressed Air Category, I got to thinking about the product.  There are the obvious, material-specific benefits such as the chemical resistivity of PEEK plastic, the high temperature range (160°C/320°F), and the friendly, non-marring qualities when in direct contact with other materials. But, there is also another side to the 1109-PEEK nozzle (and every other EXAIR product), and that is the added safety with every installation.

EXAIR can also supply a quick and easy solution to keep you OSHA safe and conserve air at the same time. With EXAIR’s unmatched variety of sizes and material, we have an in STOCK solution for your drilled pipes. With threads sizes ranging from M4 x 0.5 through 1-1/4 NPT on the shelf, we ship orders same day in most cases. That is the quick part of the equation.

The correction for such a condition can be the easy installation of a Super Air Knife, or Super Air Nozzles (below) – This illustrates the easy part of the equation.

1109-PEEK nozzles installed into 1-1/4″ pipe
Closer view of 1109-PEEK nozzles
Close-up of 1109-PEEK nozzles
1109-PEEK nozzles lookin good… and SAFE!!

The 1109-PEEK nozzles installed above provide the needed safety to this drilled pipe. The same nozzle is also available in 316 stainless steel. If you have an application with a similar need in your facility, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer to discuss technical details and specific recommendations.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

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