Minimize Exposure to Hazards Using the Hierarchy of Controls

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) published a useful guide called “Hierarchy of Controls” that details (5) different types of control methods for exposure to occupational hazards while showing the relative effectiveness of each method.

HierarchyControls
CDC Hierarchy of Controls

The least effective methods are Administrative Controls and PPE. Administrative Controls involve making changes to the way people perform the work and promoting safe practices through training. The training could be related to correct operating procedures, keeping the workplace clean, emergency response to incidents, and personal hygiene practices, such as proper hand washing after handling hazardous materials. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is the least effective method because the equipment (ear plugs, gloves, respirators, etc.) can become damaged, may be uncomfortable and not used, or used incorrectly.

In the middle range of effectiveness is Engineering Controls. These controls are implemented by design changes to the equipment or process to reduce or eliminate the hazard. Good engineering controls can be very effective in protecting people regardless of the the actions and behaviors of the workers. While higher in initial cost than Administrative controls or PPE, typically operating costs are lower, and a cost saving may be realized in the long run.

The final two, Elimination and Substitution are the most effective but can be the most difficult to integrate into an existing process. If the process is still in the design phase, it may be easier and less expensive to eliminate or substitute the hazard. Elimination of the hazard would be the ultimate and most effective method, either by removing the hazard altogether, or changing the work process to the hazardous task is no longer performed.

EXAIR can help your company follow the Hierarchy of Controls, and eliminate, or reduce the hazards of compressed air usage.

Engineers can eliminate loud and unsafe pressure nozzles with designs that utilize quiet and pressure safe engineered air products such as Air Nozzles, Air Knives and Air Amplifiers. Also, unsafe existing products such as air guns, can be substituted with EXAIR engineered solutions that meet the OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.242(b) and 29 CFR 1910.95(a).

Nozzles

In summary, Elimination and Substitution are the most effective methods and should be used whenever possible to reduce or eliminate the hazard and keep people safe in the workplace.

If you have questions about the Hierarchy of Controls and safe compressed air usage from any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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Video Blog: EXAIR’s Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

The video below showcases a new EXAIR product, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper. This combines the comfort of a Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with the powerful air stream of the 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle and adds the scraping ability of a handheld scraper all in one convenient package.

If you would like to discuss your application, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Super Blast Safety Air Guns – High Power Blow Off

Do you need a hand-held tool to blow off a wide area, or something at a long distance? EXAIR has you covered with our Super Blast Safety Air Guns. These Safety Air Guns provide the strongest blowing force of any EXAIR Air Guns – ideal for long distance, wide area blow off, cooling, and drying applications. The comfortable foam rubber handle provides a firm grip, a spring-loaded valve instantly shuts off the air supply if the air gun is dropped.

Super Blast Application
Cleaning a wide area of debris

All of our Super Air Nozzle Clusters and Large Super Air Nozzles can have the added convenience of a comfortable foam rubber handle and our easy to operate spring-loaded manual valve that automatically shuts off it dropped.

Super Blast 2
Super Air Nozzle Clusters and Large Super Air Nozzles

The nozzle material is Zinc Aluminum Alloy, with Stainless Steel available for the models 1214SS and 1215SS. The base Safety Air Guns are 10″ – 15″ long (nozzle type dependent), and a longer extension can be added, in either 3′ or 6′ lengths to gain access to hard to reach areas.

Super Blast Extension
Using a 4′ Extension pipe to get the hard to reach areas.

The table below provides a guide for performance of each of the Super Blast models, for comparison and to make selection easy.  We can provide more details, including dimensional drawings and air flow patterns as required. And as always, the Super Blast Safety Air Guns are in stock, and come with the EXAIR Unconditional 30 Day Guarantee.  

SAG TableIf you have any questions about the Super Blast or any of the EXAIR Safety Air Guns, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
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Custom Products from EXAIR Meet Your Specifications

Since EXAIR manufactures and distributes our own products, we have the flexibility to provide custom products, special processing, unique packaging and more. If your process or specifications are something special, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate any special considerations you might need. Following is one example for a customer who purchases air guns.

Several months ago I received a call from a company that was looking for a specialized air gun.  This company was involved in the servicing of highly specialized measuring equipment and needed a safe, quiet, & efficient air gun that also had to be completely oil/contamination free.   This was to ensure no contamination would result from using the air gun on any of their equipment.  Ultimately this meant that every air gun component needed to be washed,  rinsed and dried to ensure there was no residual oils or dirt from manufacturing left on or in any component of the gun.

Our customer decided on the highly versatile Vari-Blast Compact Safety Air Gun with the award-winning Nano Super Air Nozzle, specifically models 1698SS and the 1698SS-6.  EXAIR presented a written process to the customer. This process explained how we would identify and manufacture their specific air gun in order to assure the customer that would receive a consistently clean air gun, every time.

nano nozzle
EXAIR’s Award Winning Nano Super Air Nozzle Performance Characteristics

nano air pattern
1110SS Specifications

img_7897
1698SS

img_7898a
1698SS-6

Additionally the customer had specifications requiring special packaging as they were going to ship these globally to their service team members.  To ensure safe arrival no matter where they are shipped,  EXAIR provides special handling and packaging which exceeds their requirements.

Also, when you are looking for expert advice on safe, quiet and efficient point of use compressed air products give us a call.  We would enjoy hearing from you!

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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Back Blow Air Nozzles Clean Out Pipe, Tubes and Holes

Round SS Tubes

A metal fabricator used a cutting machine to cut different sizes and shapes of stainless steel tubing.  The process was automated and the machine would cut two tubes at a time.  After the cutting operation, the machine would deposit the tubes into a nearby bin.  The operator would then stack the tubes in a wooden container as shown above.  Before the tubes could be transported to another department, the operator would have to clean the inside of each tube.  The current method was to attach a rag to the end of a rod and pushed it inside the tube to remove any coolant and chips that remained from the cutting operation.  Of course, the ability to clean thoroughly with a rag is reduced greatly after a short time of use.  The cleaning process was very time consuming, and when the rag was not changed in a timely manner it did not clean effectively.  The inside of the tubes would get marred from the excess chips that remained on the rag.  This would visually affect the surface finish of the stainless steel.  They emailed me the application detail as they were looking for a non-contact way to clean the inside of the tubes.

The first question from the customer was if we could customize our air nozzles to clean the different diameters and shapes that they were cutting.  EXAIR has made special air nozzles to accommodate unique applications, but I wanted to first make sure that EXAIR did not have a manufactured nozzle in stock to fit this application.  I requested the dimensional information, and the customer sent me the sizes and shapes of the tubes that were ran through their cutting machine.  (Reference Table 1 below).

EXAIR manufactures three different sizes of Back Blow Air Nozzles that are designed to clean inside tubing, pipes, hoses, and channels.  They can range from internal diameters from ¼” (6.3mm) to 16” (406mm).  The 360o rear airflow pattern can “wipe” the entire internal surface clean and can remove coolant, chips, and debris.  In reviewing the dimensions from Table 1 above, I was able to recommend just one Back Blow Air Nozzle for all the tubes; even the square and rectangular ones.  It was model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle.  This 316SS robust designed nozzle can fit inside and clean tubes with internal dimensions ranging from 22mm to 102mm, and it was perfect for all of these tubes.

Soft Grip Safety Air Gun w/ Back Blow Air Nozzle

The customer indicated to me that the tubes were all cut to identical lengths at 550 mm (21.7”).  Being that this was a manual operation, I suggested the Back Blow Air Nozzle with our Soft Grip Safety Air Gun.  This ergonomically designed Safety Air Gun is designed for hours of use without fatigue.  In combination with the nozzle, we are able to add extensions and chip shields.  With extensions, EXAIR has a range of lengths from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm).  With the designated length above, I recommended the model 1206SS-24-CS which has the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, the model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle, a 24” (610mm) extension, and a chip shield.

The configuration allowed for the operator to reach through the tube to clean with only a one-time pass.  The CS designation is for a chip shield which will protect the operator from any excess debris and coolant.  With the model 1206SS-24-CS, the operator could now pick up a tube, use the Soft-Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun to remove the debris and coolant from within the round tubes, square tubes and rectangle tubes.  Also, they did not have to worry about changing the rags when it got dirty.  What an amazing purchase for this company, as they increased the speed of the cleaning operation by 70% without affecting the inside finish of the stainless-steel tubes.

If you need to clean the inside of tubes, hoses, pipes, etc., EXAIR has the perfect nozzle for you, the Back Blow Air Nozzles.  EXAIR can attach these nozzles on our VariBlast Compact, Soft Grip and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns for easy-to-use manual operations.  For this customer above, they were glad that they contacted EXAIR about their application.  If you require more details, you can share your application with an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

EXAIR’s Huge Variety of Air Nozzles is Like an Equalizer for your Application

MCS 3035 Final

Many of us are familiar with what an equalizer (EQ) looks like and what it does. Unfortunately, sometimes they get a bad rap from so-called audiophiles, which in my opinion are defined individuals who spent so much money on their equipment they can’t afford to buy any music to play!  Typically, they insist that tone controls must be set to flat because the sound recording engineers mastering the music have already equalized the recording to perfection and if you need to attenuate or cut certain frequencies it is an indicator of poor-quality equipment, and that is simply is not true!

Let’s consider some of the reasons why an equalizer makes sense and, in my opinion, an absolute necessity. The objects and materials in the room will change the sound reproduction characteristics of any speaker system.  If you have large floor standing speakers positioned in the corners of the room, sitting directly on wood floors the speakers are now “acoustically coupled” with the floor and the walls.   On the other hand, if you move the speakers away from the wall and/or place them on spikes or stands (isolating them for the floor) you would have “acoustically de-coupled” the speakers from the walls and floor, which will reduce the bass or low-frequency loudness. This all affects the perceived loudness and/or quality of the music we want to listen too.

This is where the graphic equalizer shines, no need to move the speakers around or use speaker stands or spikes.  An equalizer will allow you to increase or decrease the loudness of multiple frequencies.  You can completely customize your sound to suit your tastes, overcome issues with your listening room acoustics, the speakers you are listening with or even anomalies with the music recording.

Like adjusting an equalizer to suit your room acoustics, speaker size and/or speaker frequency response, EXAIR understands that the need for many different options gives you the necessary adjustments for a successful application.  A few sizes of Air Nozzle, Air Jet or High Force Air Nozzles will not solve every application with the highest efficiency or effectiveness.  EXAIR’s air nozzle variety allows you to produce maximum effectiveness based upon the air pressure and air volume you have available.  Whether you need a strong blast or a gentle breeze, if you have tricky mounting positions or remote applications, EXAIR has the largest selection to choose from and solve your production problem.

We clearly state compressed air volume requirements in SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) at a given operating pressure in PSI (Pounds per Square Inch), force at 12” from the compressed air outlet and the sound loudness in dBA at 3′ from the nozzle. These details provide the starting point for selecting the best air nozzle.

When you are looking for expert advice on safe, quiet, efficient, and engineered point of use compressed air products give us a call.   We would enjoy hearing from you!

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Has a New Product: The Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

Scrape off, and blow away, stubborn debris with the Model 1244-48 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

EXAIR has designed a new nozzle called the Super Air Scraper.  This nozzle combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle.  It creates a mechanical force with a compressed air force to remove stubborn sticky material.  This patent-pending nozzle can be added to the EXAIR Soft Grip Air Gun to create a powerful scraping tool.

Let’s breakdown the nozzle.  The 2″ Super Air Scraper nozzle is a model 1144 which has a ¼” NPT female connection.  The model 1144-A includes a ¾ – 32 UN adaptor for connecting to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun extensions.  The scraper can be changed when worn with a replacement blade; model 902007.  To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set, model 1132SS, can be used to modify the blowing force.  With these combinations, the nozzle complements the scraper as an effective way to clean with compressed air.

Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To get pressurized air to the nozzle, EXAIR attached the 1144-A Super Air Scraper nozzle to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun.  This gives a comfortable and ergonomic way to use and operate this product.  We offer different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length.  With the extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installed an additional foam grip sleeve.  This gives additional leverage for scraping material at a distance like floor level.  Chip Shields are also offered to prevent blow-back onto the operator.  You can view the details of the new product at this link on our website: Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

To give some ideas for applications, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper can be used for removing tape, gasket material, caulk, adhesive, paint, labels, and more.  With the addition of air, the detached material is blown away during scraping, keeping the area clean to target the remaining “stuck” material.  If gummy or flaky substances are a nuisance for workers, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper can keep the machine or work station clean and operational.

Just like all cataloged items for EXAIR, we stock these parts for same day shipment with orders placed before 3 p.m. EST.  We offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee to allow you to see how great this product can work in your application.  If you have a sticky, flakey, or greasy substance that needs to be removed, the Soft Grip Safety Air Scraper is up to the challenge.  If you have any questions about the product or your “gummy” situation, you can contact an Application Engineer for help.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb