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Work Safety Tips When Using Air Compressors

Safety is the number one concern when working on a construction, whether it be a big project or a minor fixer upper. When it comes to equipment handling, using an air compressor and all the equipment that comes along with it isn’t something to take lightly.  

Powerful air tools with their air compressors may make work much more efficient, but they can also potentially harm anyone on sight, especially when not handled properly. So before you begin on a day’s work, here are some safety reminders to take note of before starting a day’s work ahead.

Work Safety Tips When Using Air Compressors Infographic


6 Safety Tips When Handling Air Compressors


General Safety Reminders

When using any form of industrial equipment, it is important to observe the following at all times:

Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

Keep yourself protected at all times. Always wear the following:

  • Safety Goggles
  • Hearing Protectors
  • Industrial gloves
  • Face Mask

Note:  Side Effects of not using hearing guards can manifest much later rather than instantly. Since 2004, there have been reports about 125,000 of work-related hearing loss.


Clear Your Environment

  • Keep your environment cool to prevent machines from overheating. 
  • Use a self-retracted cord to avoid tripping accidents.
  • Keep spaces near exits clear of obstruction


Read the Instruction Manual

  • Learn how to use your equipment properly before operating such machinery.

Note: Misuse of equipment is the number one cause of personal injury. 


6 Work Safety Tips For Using Air Compressors


1. Take it Outside 

Unless electrically powered, air compressors have to be used outside your home. Diesel air tools emit carbon monoxide, which is highly toxic. If the air compressor model is made for indoor use, keep it away from moist or wet environments.


2. Inspect Your Machine

Always inspect your air compressor before turning it on for any dirt or rust it may have. Low-pressure air compressors discharge up to 151 psi, medium-pressure compressors discharge 151 to 1,000 psi, and high-pressure compressors discharge over 1,000 psi. 

Note: A rusted tank should always be replaced. Rust makes the tank prone to combustion.


3. Check the Hose

Make sure that your air hose won’t kink or bend. Also, check if they are properly connected. This will affect the performance of the machine. And don’t leave them on the floor, else they become a tripping hazard. 


4. Make Maintenance a Priority

Make it a habit to check for any leaks, whether air or oil, before turning it on. Small leaks can still lead your machines to blow. Repair the machine before using it again. 

Note: Do not refuel the air compressor when on or has been very recently used. Change the oil only when the machine is cool.


5. Turn it Off When…

  • Installing, removing, fine-tuning, or doing any kind of maintenance on connected powered hand tools
  • A tool malfunctions all of a sudden. Instead of trying to take a hold of the tool, turn the machine’s valve off.
  • No longer in use or will be unused for quite some time. Do not leave it on while out to have lunch or to go to the bathroom.


6. Keep it Clean

Always have your air compressor checked every now and then. Maintenance helps keep the machine from being prone to combustion.




Handling pressurized air equipment can surely lessen the workload, but it also has its risks. The most important safety tip when handling air compressors is to be mindful of your surroundings and always put safety above all else. 

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