What is OSHA and what does the law say about blowing with compressed air?

What is OSHA and what does the law say about blowing with compressed air?

Posted by Viktor Gustavsson

There are various regulations that govern the use of compressed air. When it concerns blowing with compressed air, we often talk about OSHA or SUVA. OSHA is the shortening for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, that governs the safety regulations in the United States and SUVA stands for Schweizerische Unfallsversicherungsanstalt and governs the occupational safety in Switzerland. In Great Britain the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) governs the safety regulations, but companies with connection to United States might also be affected by OSHA’s regulations.   


What does OSHA say about blowing with compressed air? 

Compressed air is used in the manufacturing industry to drive tools, create motion, lift, clean, move and cool materials. The OSHA regulation 1910.242(b) state the following about compressed air: 

Compressed air may only be used for cleaning if 

  • the pressure is lower than 30 psi (210 kPa). 
  • chip guards and personal safety equipment are used. 

This means the downstream pressure of the air at the outlet of the air gun, nozzle, or pipe opening is not allowed to exceed 30 psi (210 kPa) for all static conditions.  A higher static pressure could cause serious injury to the operator.  Therefore, to minimize the risk of injury in the event of total blockage, the pressure at the blockage should be less than 30 psi (210kPa). An air pressure gauge is the easiest way to check air pressure. 

Chip guards are used to protect the operator and people working in the vicinity from flying chips and particles. They can either be screens or other solutions to prevent eye and body injuries. It is important to keep in mind that some safety equipment only protects the operator and these may need to be supplemented in order to protect people nearby. Furthermore, personal safety equipment such as hearing protection and full-cover goggles must be used. 


How to eliminate risk of non-compliance with osha regulation? 

There are two ways to prevent non-compliance with OSHA 1910.242(b); either by regulating the pressure by means of an air pressure reducer or a specially designed nozzle. The air gun can either reduce the pressure by means of a built-in pressure reducer or by the use of technology that reduces the pressure in the event of a total blockage. 

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To avoid non-compliance with OSHA 1910.242(b), the pressure must be under 30 psi when the air leaves the blowing system. An air pressure gauge is the easiest way to find out the air pressure. 

Silvent can help you eliminate the risk of non-compliance with OSHA 1910.242(b), while maintaining an effective blowing force.

 Do you want to combine an safe and efficient blowing? Read more about the special technique that make it possible.

Viktor Gustavsson

Written by Viktor Gustavsson

Inbound Manager