This week’s adventures in using compressed air arrives from an unexpected source: installing handlebar grips on a bicycle. The customer used a compressed air gun with an open tube which is not OSHA safe and is LOUD! (pictured below)
The bicycle shop would slip the nozzle of the air gun under the rubber handlebar grips to expand them to slide onto the frames easily. The original nozzle of the gun did not have a relief port in the nozzle to prevent pressurization over 30 PSIG as mandated by OSHA instruction STD 01-13-0001. On top of the over-pressurization problem, the gun was incredibly noisy. This noise was the reason for their call. During the course of our phone conversation, we also discussed the safety aspect of their application. If you need more information on OSHA’s regulation regarding compressed air please see my blog “Complying with OSHA’s Compressed Air Standard”.
The bicycle repair shop was relatively quiet, so the noise from the 0.175″ opening of the original safety air gun affected a number of shop employees. Every year more and more studies point to a link between occupational noise and health, well being, and productivity. This repair shop had a relatively low noise level in most working hours, so the noise of the air gun continuously rattling through rafters not only threatened the operators’ hearing but also may have affected them in other ways. The technician manager of the repair shop had heard complaints from operators and called one of EXAIR’s Application Engineers to find a quieter solution. Our solution was the Precision Safety Air Gun, model 1410SS, was the perfect solution. The 1/4″ Nano Super Air Nozzle is 1/4″ in diameter which was able to easily slip underneath the handlebar grips. The gun would then be triggered which allow air to fill the handlebar grip, which caused it to expand just enough to slip onto the bike frame.
Originally, the air gun produced noise levels of over 90 dB every time the gun was triggered. EXAIR’s 1410SS Precision Safety Air Gun only produced a noise level of 75 dB, which is much more manageable in their shop environment. The gun also features EXAIR Super Air Nozzle design which conserves compressed air and complies with OSHA standard 1910.242(b), which prevents the outlet pressure from exceeding 30 PSIG.