Tools that are powered by compressed air are used in almost every industry, making it critical that operators and passersby alike are not only aware of safe pneumatic tool practices, but also how to properly maintain them. According to OSHA, the most common occupational injuries that occur when using pneumatic tools are getting struck by one of the tool’s attachments or by nails, staples, rivets, or other fasteners used in the tool.
For more information on creating a safer pneumatic tool safety program in your facility, explore OSHA Standard CFR 1926.302(b) for Pneumatic Power Tools.
In addition to the physical dangers associated with the tool itself, there are additional safety concerns to consider. Many facilities require multiple shifts throughout the day. That means equipment and tools like pneumatic nailers, sanders, buffers or spray guns are used around the clock. Any defect or equipment failure due to overuse can lead to serious injuries, increased downtime and loss of production.
The best way to avoid situations like these is to follow general pneumatic tool maintenance best practices.
For instance, it’s not enough to assume the tool is safe to operate. At the beginning of every shift, each operator should perform their own inspection of tools and air compressors to make sure everything is in peak working order. If, for any reason, there is any question of a tool not working properly or any signs of defect, that tool should be tagged and removed from service until it can be thoroughly inspected by a competent person.