The 5 biggest dangers of compressed air

The 5 biggest dangers of compressed air

Drying Solutions

Do you work in a sector where a lot of dust circulates? Have your technicians been using compressed air to clean themselves? Then you probably know that blowing off with compressed air is not without danger!

In our infographic or in the text below you can read all about the dangers of compressed air and we propose a safe alternative.

What is compressed air?

Compressed air is a concentrated stream of air at high pressure and high speed that can cause serious injury to the operator and the people around him. First, compressed air is itself is a serious hazard. It has been known for compressed air to enter the blood stream through a break in the skin or through a body opening. An air bubble in the blood stream is known medically as an embolism, a dangerous medical condition in which a blood vessel is blocked, in this case, by an air bubble.

An embolism of an artery can cause coma, paralysis or death depending upon its size, duration and location. While air embolisms are usually associated with incorrect scuba-diving procedures, they are possible with compressed air due to high pressures. This may all seem to be improbable, but the consequences of even a small quantity of air or other gas in the blood can quickly be fatal so it needs to be taken seriously.

Potential dangers

Unfortunately, horseplay has been a cause of some serious workplace accidents caused by individuals not aware of the hazards of compressed air, or proper work procedures.

  1. Compressed air accidentally blown into the mouth can rupture the lungs, stomach or intestines.
  2. Compressed air can enter the navel, even through a layer of clothing, and inflate and rupture the intestines.
  3. Compressed air can enter the bloodstream, and death is possible if it makes its way to blood vessels in the brain. Upon reaching the brain, pockets of air may lead to a stroke.
  4. Direct contact with compressed air can lead to serious medical conditions and even death. Even safety nozzles which regulate compressed air pressure below 30 psi should not be used to clean the human body. If an air pocket reaches the heart, it causes symptoms similar to a heart attack.
  5. As little as 12 pounds of compressed air pressure can blow an eye out of its socket.

The safest option for personnel cleaning

The JetBlack cleaning station is a safe alternative to compressed air, using less energy and emitting less noise than compressed air units. The JetBlack blower-driven system delivers a high volume of air at a relatively low pressure – only 2.52 PSI (200 mBar).

The lower pressure means the JetBlack can be safely aimed at virtually any part of the body (except eyes and ears); even direct contact with skin poses no hazard (we still recommend to exercise caution when using any machinery).

If the airborne dust being removed is harmful, then we also offer a full body cleaning booth which has the ability to remove and collect the dust safely and efficiently.

Do your employees blow themselves off with compressed air? Are you aware of the dangers? Are you looking for a safe alternative? Contact our team, they will be happy to help you out.