Monday, July 4, 2016

Avoid Use of PVC Pipe and Water Hose Clamps With Compressed Air

Compressed air is a common source of power for tools and equipment utilized in many shops and at construction sites. And while we constantly fret about the hazards associated with many of the tools that are powered by the compressed air, we give very little thought to the piping systems and hoses we utilize to distribute the compressed air from the compressor to the tools. So allow me to alert you to three very common hazards (and OSHA violations) that I see when conducting workplace safety audits for customers around the country . . .

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  1. It's really frightening to think that there are people out there that don't know this already. - Cynthia RamsdellI

    1. Cynthia - based on my inspections, there are A LOT of people out there who do not know this. I agree, frightening.

  2. the fittings were called "Chicago fittings" when I worked in the chemical industry. I have seen them come loose by some stepping on them or moving them out of the walkway. An air hose with 60 to 120 psi whipping around, should the fitting hit someone in the head, is a fatality waiting to happen. It is not uncommon to fit them with a clip or wire securing them. They also make jumpers as added protection.
    Jon Pina, Safety Expert

  3. Good article for revising sections of safety audit checklists and reviewing procedures for pressure testing installed systems during commissioning.

    In my time I have encountered some extremely dangerous specifications for pneumatic pressure testing and testing schedules that contravene manufacturer's guidance .....

    Mark Wesley Becker

  4. Hi Curtis,
    Please also advise people not to clamp an air hose to a threaded connector, such as the one in your last photo. Thanks, I find your articles to be well written and right on target.
    Ken Shorter

  5. Worm Drive Hose Clamps are probably the most frequent pressure related hazard I have experienced in construction. Often miss-ued, often used with hazardous chemical, improperly applied, poor condition, lack of pre-use inspection, etc. etc. Not much out there giving caution to this subject and the manufactures literature is not very clear on safe use, proper torquing, and prohibited use. They are cheap to buy ergo used frequently without giving consideration to potential hazards, I have investigated many incidents involving hose seperation where worm drive hose clamps are used as well as other types of hose connectors. The hazards of all hose clamps are not well publicized and folks who use them are not aware of their limitations. Would be a good subject for an OSHA Bulletin or for article in professional and trade magazines. IMPORTANT SUBJECT.

  6. "Worm Drive Hose Clamps " or as in the Maritime Industry, we know this as "Screw Type Hose Clamps". I could not have found this blog at a better time. I have seen the OSHA standards and our NavSea standard items addressing the issue, but I just could not understand or explain to the employees why it was such a danger it can cause. It's only common sense when you understand the reason, and People respond better and you receive less arguments when you can back up your claim with facts and a reasonable explanations. And reason is that these Worm or Screw clamps are not rated for pressure. I love this website, it helps me a lot with my tool box talks.

  7. In one of your pictures it shows the Band-it style clamp. Is this an approved application for pneumatic hose connections? Thanks, Great Post!

  8. I have also used chokers to restrain the hose from whipping should the pin fail.
    I am actually trying to research this to verify one way or another if it is a code requirement.
    Does anyone know the answer to this and if it is what is the code?


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