An air compressor can be a great tool to have around your shop or your house, but it can also be a dangerous one. In both cases, the reason is the same: power. Air compressors generate a considerable amount of power that can be used to accomplish a wide range of tasks, but if not used properly, that power can cause damage to property or serious injury. In order to get the most out of your air compressor in a safe manner, be sure to follow our team’s ten rules:
1. Don’t point the compressor’s hose at yourself or others. This should go without saying. The fastest way to cause an injury with an air compressor is to aim it directly at a person. The easiest way to avoid getting hurt by a compressor is to use common sense and point it away from yourself and others.
2. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. They made the machine, so they know how to use it. Pay close attention to things like the maximum psi and recommended uses. Ignoring the manufacturer’s instructions not only makes it likely that you’ll void the warranty, but it could also set up a dangerous situation.
3. Follow all legal regulations about the compressor’s use. If you’re an employer, allowing (or worse, requiring) employees to use the machine in violation of local and national regulations sets you up for a hefty fine—and a lawsuit from your workers—if something goes wrong.
4. Make sure all pipes, hoses, fittings, and other equipment meet the compressor’s specifications. Even if you carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions for psi, it’s not going to do you much good if you use parts with your compressor that are rated for lower pressure. If you need to use aftermarket or replacement parts, make sure that they will work safely with your machine.
5. Keep hoses and other parts in good working condition. This is both a safety tip and common sense. The better-maintained your equipment, the more use you’ll get out of it, and the safer you’ll be when working with the compressor.
6. Know where the shutoff valve is. Even if you practice proper safety techniques when you use your compressor, sometimes things go a bit wrong. If that happens, you’ll need to shut the compressor down quickly. Don’t try to fix problems on the fly—the safest thing to do is shut it down, fix the problem, and then start again.
7. Only allow properly trained users to work with the compressor. If you’re an employer, make sure that whoever you assign to work with the compressor knows what he or she is doing. If you’re a home user, make sure that you familiarize yourself with everything you need to know to operate the compressor safely.
8. Always use trusted brands and never skimp on costs if you will be using your compressor often – The best air compressors will make usage safer in general, however if you are looking for a budget model, check out these best rated budget air compressor reviews
9. Always use safety equipment when using your compressor. When in doubt, play it safe—even though your safety goggles probably won’t come into play every time you use your air compressor, you’ll want to be wearing them when they are needed.
10. Always hold the open end of the hose securely. When you’re working with an air compressor, the last thing you want to do is drop the hose in the middle of a job. If that happens, you run the risk of damaging your work. Even worse, it’s a safety hazard, so make sure you keep a good grip on your equipment.
11. Never crimp the hose while the compressor is running. It might seem like a shortcut to put a crimp in the line in the middle of a job rather than shutting the machine down, but the pressure buildup is a major safety hazard. Take the extra second to do the job correctly and shut the machine down completely if you need to pause.