Best Strategies for Pneumatic tools Safety

Best Strategies for Pneumatic tools Safety

We will start this article by highlighting how air tools work and the associated safety concerns with using them wrongly. There are some common mistakes people make when using air tools. Air tools or Pneumatic tools include chippers, drills, hammers, jack hammers, nail guns, wrenches and sanders are typically tools powered by air compressor and run with air. They have all the same safety issues as their electric or gas powered counterparts — and then some, thanks to the highly compressed air that powers them. This article addresses some of the best strategies for pneumatic tools safety, if you cannot understand and implement them, there is no need working with air tools. Let us address them one tip at a time

One of the most essential safety tip of using pneumatic tools according to OSHA is getting hit by an attachment that flies off. Always use a safety clip or retainer to prevent attachments, such as chisels on a chipping hammer, from being ejected during tool operation.

Air tools that shoot nails, rivets, staples, or similar fasteners and operate at pressures more than 100 pounds per square inch (6,890 kPa), must be equipped with a special device to keep fasteners from being ejected, unless the muzzle is pressed against the work surface. When using pneumatic tools, a safety retainer must be installed to prevent attachments such as chisels on a chipping hammer from being ejected during tool operation.

Air hose Safety when using pneumatic tools

Air hoses connected to air tools helps to transfer the air hence it is important to always inspect them before use. Pneumatic tools must be checked to see that they are fastened securely to the air hose to prevent them from becoming disconnected. A short wire or positive locking device attaching the air hose to the tool also must be used and will serve as an added safeguard.

If an air hose is more than 1/2-inch (12.7 millimeters) in diameter, a safety excess flow valve must be installed at the source of the air supply to reduce pressure in case of hose failure. When air hose fails it will create a whipping hazard. A safety excess flow valve to reduce pressure when a hose fails should be installed if the hose is more than ½ inch in diameter.

Make sure all hose connections are secured by positive locking devices to prevent accidental disconnection. A disconnected hose under high pressure can whip around wildly and strike nearby workers.

Before working on any tools eye protection is a must

Eye protection is required, and head and face protection is recommended for employees working with pneumatic tools. Alert other workers in the vicinity to keep a safe distance when operating pneumatic tools.

PPE is a must. Pneumatic tools are often noisier than their electric and gas powered counterparts due to the high-pressure exhaust, so failing to wear hearing protection is another mistake. Eye, face and head protection can save you in the event of flying objects — fragments, nails, sawdust, wood chips, etc. — that can zoom from pneumatic tools. Nearby coworkers can be protected with screens.

Explore and follow all safety tips and strategies to safely operate an air tool. you will never regret this effort.


This is OSHA’s Construction Standard for Pneumatic Power Tools, review 29 CFR 1926.302 (b).


Whenever you are working with air power tools like nail guns, drills, hammers and air guns, Tend Industrial Supplies technical team recommends you follow these pneumatic tool safety precautions, which also is in line with OSHA’s Construction Standard for air tools 29 CFR 1926.302 (b).

1. Always read the product manual.

We recommend that before operating your pneumatic tool and air compressor, be sure to read the coordinating manufacturer operating instructions. They will provide tool specific information on the handling, usage, warnings and maintenance procedures to follow for the highest level of safety. All products from Shinano pneumatics comes with a manual to direct users on use and installation processes

2. Always wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

High-impact body protection especially eye protection like safety glasses or goggles is required when working with pneumatic tools, but complete head and face protection can be used for additional protection. In addition, it’s recommended that the employer provides safety toe shoes or work boots, hard hats and hearing protection at no cost to their employees. PPE are standard requirements for any workshop to protect their workers from accidents.

3. Follow products guidelines for air pressure and use relief coupler.

Maintain safe air pressure ranges for tools, valves, and fittings. When cleaning surfaces keep air pressure below 30 psi and never “dead-end” compressed air against yourself or anyone else. And, never use compressed air to clean oneself or clothing. All air tools have specific guidelines from the manufacturers for air pressure. It is recommended that you use a relief coupler for your tools. A relief type air coupler is the only way your tool should be connected to an air supply. It’s a quick connect with a pull-down sleeve that allows compressed air in the tool to be relieved when disconnected. It reduces the risk of accidental discharge after the tool has been disconnected.

4. Never carry tool by the hose and disconnect from air supply when not in use.

Do not carry or hold pneumatic tools by the hose or connections. This could put undue pressure and stress onto these components, which can lead to early failure of the hose and/or injury. Always disconnect your tool from the air supply and remove magazine any time that your pneumatic tool is not in use. This prevents accidental discharge from occurring when you are taking a break, at lunch or finished working for the day. It is a standard safety practices to secure your air tool with lanyards when working at high locations.

5. Know your trigger and how to use it.

One of the best ways to Improve pneumatic tool safety program is to starts with understanding the various types of trigger mechanisms and the contact safety tip. Operators of pneumatic tools should know the location of the trigger and how it works. The way a trigger functions depends on the order in which controls are activated and whether the trigger discharges multiple nails or single nails when activated. Most common trigger types are:

  • Full Sequential Trigger
  • Contact Trigger
  • Single Sequential Trigger
  • Single Actuation Trigger

Finally and this should be added as part of the safety tip for people who like to experiment on tools, DO NOT MODIFY YOUR TOOL. Modifying an air tool can make you bypass the safety features such as the trigger or other components. Such actions can greatly increase the probability of injury. Horse fighting is another probable activities in workplaces. Power tools are no jokes, many injuries happen due to horseplay. Never point a tool at yourself or others or use the tools inappropriately.

Articles to explore before the use of power tools

10 Tips on Simple Ways to Keep Your Power Tools in Good Working Order

Safety Tips for Handling Power Tools


2nd Nov 2021 Tend Technical support

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