OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Compressors and Compressed Air

Compressors and Compressed Air

  • Are compressors equipped with pressure relief valves, and pressure gauges?
  • Are compressor air intakes installed and equipped so as to ensure that only clean uncontaminated air enters the compressor?
  • Are air filters installed on the compressor intake?
  • Are compressors operated and lubricated in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations?
  • Are safety devices on compressed air systems checked frequently?
  • Before any repair work is done on the pressure system of a compressor, is the pressure bled off and the system locked-out?
  • Are signs posted to warn of the automatic starting feature of the compressors?
  • Is the belt drive system totally enclosed to provide protection for the front, back, top, and sides?
  • Is it strictly prohibited to direct compressed air towards a person?
  • Are employees prohibited from using highly compressed air for cleaning purposes?
  • If compressed air is used for cleaning off clothing, is the pressure reduced to less than 10 psi?
  • When using compressed air for cleaning, do employees wear protective chip guarding and personal protective equipment?
  • Are safety chains or other suitable locking devices used at couplings of high pressure hose lines where a connection failure would create a hazard?
  • Before compressed air is used to empty containers of liquid, is the safe working pressure of the container checked?
  • When compressed air is used with abrasive blast cleaning equipment, is the operating valve a type that must be held open manually?
  • When compressed air is used to inflate auto ties, is a clip-on chuck and an inline regulator preset to 40 psi required?
  • Is it prohibited to use compressed air to clean up or move combustible dust if such action could cause the dust to be suspended in the air and cause a fire or explosion hazard?