Have you just glanced around your manufacturing plant? You usually always see either the “curly” yellow hose or a red rubber hose with an air gun attached to it. They hang at work stations, machines, packaging areas, and even in obscure places. The reason that I bring this up is for safety reasons.
Recently we had a medium-sized manufacturing plant that was audited by OSHA. One of the first violations that OSHA found was with their compressed air guns with the typical brass pipe with the hole going through the side (one of the most typical types of nozzle). It violated code 29 CFR 1910.65(a) for maximum allowable noise exposure. The company had to make a choice to either purchase hearing protection for the operators or to find an alternative product. They contacted us because we could reduce their noise level. I suggested a Super Air Nozzle, model 1100 for their application. When they attached our Super Air Nozzle into their air gun, they quickly heard the difference with the low noise. With the added benefits of quality, high force, and meeting all the safety requirements, they decided to purchase the nozzles with our Safety Air Guns. They ordered 90 pieces of our Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with Chip Shield, model 1210-CS. This took care of the OSHA violation, and the operators were very happy with the product.
Another company was using compressed air with a ¼ turn valve attached to a 36” (91 cm) copper tubing. They used this device to reach into areas to blow off chips. The Safety Compliance Officer was familiar with OSHA 29CFR 1910.242(b). The regulation references chip shields and using pressures below 30 psig (2 bar). Compressed air can enter the blood stream through the skin with pressures above 30 psig (2 bar) in a dead-end occurrence. To keep his workers safe, he mandated a maximum supply line pressure of 30 psig (2 bar) throughout the plant. This increased the cleanup time for an operation as the force was reduced greatly. The Safety Compliance Officer contacted us about our Safety Air Guns. I explained that with our nozzles, they are engineered to operate at higher supply line pressures and still be below the dead-end pressure requirement of 30 psig (2 bar). With our design, it keeps the surface of your skin from blocking the air openings, like you can do with a copper tubing. They ordered 25 pieces of our Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun with a 36” (91 cm) extension and Chip Shield, model 1310-36-CS. The operators were happy with the durability of the gun and with the ability to increase the air pressure for faster cleaning. The Safety Compliance Officer was happy to meet the OSHA standard and to keep his workers safe.
EXAIR offers a variety of different types of nozzles and Safety Air Guns to fit the requirements of your applications. All of our nozzles are safe, quiet, and powerful. We offer them in different materials from aluminum/zinc, stainless steel, and PEEK. They are designed to entrain ambient air to save compressed air and money. As a note, an air gun is only as good as the nozzle it is using. Many air guns come with a very inexpensive brand of nozzle. They are typically very loud and very inefficient. I always like to use the analogy of a paint sprayer. No matter how good the spray gun is, if you have a poor nozzle, you will end up with many flaws in your paint. The same can be said with compressed air guns.
To keep your company compliant and safe, you can always contact an Application Engineers to help pick the correct product for you.