Air Tools

Air tools offer a great way to increase productivity on the job-site.  Jack hammers impact wrenches, chipping hammers and nail guns are common air tools on many job sites.  Commonly used air tools create risk and must be used properly.

Working with Air Tools

  • Never discharge an airline towards another worker.
  • Treat all tools as loaded while they are connected to an airline.
  • Never use a tool that is missing a guard or safety feature.
  • Always wear proper PPE when using the tool. 100% eye protection.
  • Remove from service and “red tag” defective tools. 
  • Disconnect the tool from the compressed air supply and bleed off excess air before repairs are done.  This should include turning off the air at the source at all connections.
  • Tools shall be secured to the hose or whip by some positive means to prevent the tool from becoming accidentally disconnected.
  • Air hoses with inside diameters greater than ½ inch must have safety devices to reduce pressure.
  • Always consult the tool manufacturer for additional safety concerns.
  • Never lower a hose by use of the air line.
  • Never use compressed air to clean yourself off

If it is necessary to use compressed air for cleaning, always reduce the pressure to 30 psi or less and proper chip guarding.  See Chapter 296-807 for actual requirements for hand held portable power tools, circular saws, belt sanders, compressed air tools, powder actuated fastening systems; as well as portable hand or power-operated hydraulic jacks, mechanical or ratchet jacks, and mechanical screw jacks.

Chapter 296-807 does not apply to:

  • Concrete vibrators
  • Concrete breakers
  • Powered tampers
  • Jack hammers
  • Rock drills
  • Garden appliances
  • Household and kitchen appliances
  • Personal care appliances
  • Medical and dental equipment
  • Fixed machinery

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for discussion

  • What can happen if an airline becomes disconnected?
  • What is the danger of not having the muzzle in contact with a surface?