Compressed air as the fourth utility plays a vital role in manufacturing. Despite being as essential to as many processes as gas and electricity, when it comes to safety it is often left unconsidered, or even forgotten.
Yet the misuse of compressed air can cause serious or even fatal consequences. Every year, according to the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), on average there are 150 dangerous occurrences in the UK. Of which, six result in fatal or serious injury.
Direct contact with compressed air can lead to serious medical conditions. This usually occurs from accidental release of high-pressure air, or misuse of air supply equipment.
- Compressed air can enter the bloodstream via the skin. If it makes its way to blood vessels and the heart, it can cause symptoms like a heart attack. Or reaching the brain can cause a stroke or prove fatal.
- It only takes 1 bar(g) of compressed air pressure to blow an eye out of its socket.
- Air stream near the eardrum can cause a loss of hearing or brain haemorrhage.
If compressed air is a vital to your processes, it is important that your shop floor doesn’t comprise on safety.