Last week I wrote about the OSHA requirements for using compressed air for cleaning in “How to Meet the OSHA Compressed Air Standard“. That was a title only an engineer could love. It was functional and with no flash. In my quest to write to my audience, I’m going back to the well today. I want to talk about using the right tool for the right job.
Every engineer worth his salt knows that using the wrong tool to do the job can make the task at hand ten times harder, than it needs to be…
And every weekend warrior of home, or automotive repair has used the wrong tool for the job. Most of the time these tools are going to work in a pinch. But when they don’t work, they can fail spectacularly. Yes, the flat head screw driver might be able to turn the Phillips head screw, but it can also strip the screw or slip out and dent the wall. Yes, the adjustable wrench works on quite a few different bolts, and will work as a weak hammer in a pinch, but when you have to go back in the house to get a rubber mallet, the socket set and discard the pieces of your broken wrench, you will wish you had the right tool in the first place.
I want to include the importance of using the right air gun for the job. Our priority for specifying air guns (and some would argue, in life) should be safety first. Protecting the people using our products is the most important task. The best way to protect them is to specify the right Safety Air Gun to get the job done.
How can getting the right air gun increase safety? If we have the right tool for the job, we can avoid modifications to the safety features of our air gun. Below are two examples of what we see on a regular basis.
Air escaping this gun will be LOUD, annoying and violates OSHA standard 1910.242(b).
Nothing says I’m costing the company money like a wide open air gun – and it’s DANGEROUS.
The air guns above belong to new customer, who had provided air guns with a cross drilled nozzle to the employees in their shop. The employees gave up their homemade air guns and managed to comply with OSHA standards for a few minutes, some may have even reached hours of safety…
I can almost envision the sequence of events… The OSHA inspector warns or fines the company for using blow offs which violate the standards for pressure and/or noise exposure. Management makes certain the guns get replaced, Supervision or engineering finds a cheap quick solution, and no one checks to see, if the air gun can do the work. Workers find that the new air guns don’t have the same force, so they start altering the nozzles and guns to get the job done.
Several months pass. The OSHA inspector returns. The company is still fined for violating Directive Number STD01-13-001 standard 1910.242(b), because their blow offs can be dead ended and they are using a pressure higher than 30 PSIG. Also, a noise audit finds that the sound level in the plant is higher, than it has ever been, so all employees are now required to wear hearing protection.
Not quite the fix that everyone thought. Modifying air guns and/or air nozzles can create additional safety hazards for employees and increase compressed air expenses. Consider engineered Safety Air Guns and our line of Super Air Nozzles when looking for a safe and efficient solution to your processes and compressed air applications.
Here are some legitimate solutions for increasing safety and decreasing noise. Left to right: Precision Safety Air Gun, Soft Grip Safety air Gun w/Stay Set Hose, Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun w/Rigid Extension, & Super Blast Safety Air Gun.
At EXAIR, we strive to provide our customers the support and guidance, which they require to run a company safely and efficiently. We offer an efficiency lab to test any homemade blow offs, guns or nozzles. Once we have tested these pieces for force, flow, and noise, we can specify a nozzle, safety air gun, air amplifier, or air knife that will meet the force requirement, while saving compressed air and lowering the noise level. Please contact an Application Engineer today to get your employees the right tool to do their job safely every time.