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Compressors and Compressed Air


This checklist is not all-inclusive. You should add to it or delete items that do not apply to your business; however, carefully consider each item and make your decision. You should refer to Minnesota statutes and rules, and federal OSHA standards adopted by reference in Minnesota for specific guidance that may apply to your work situation (see www.dli.mn.gov/). (Note: This checklist is typical for general industry but not for construction or maritime industries.)
  • Are compressors equipped with pressure relief valves and pressure gauges?
  • Are compressor air intakes installed and equipped so as to ensure that only clean, uncontaminated air enters the compressor?
  • Are air filters installed on the compressor intake?
  • Are compressors operated and lubricated in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations?
  • Are safety devices on compressed air systems checked frequently?
  • Before a compressor's pressure system is repaired, is the pressure bled off and the system locked out?
  • Are signs posted to warn of the automatic starting feature of the compressors?
  • Is the belt drive system totally enclosed to provide protection for the front, back, top and sides?
  • Are employees strictly prohibited from directing compressed air towards a person?
  • Are employees prohibited from using highly compressed air for cleaning purposes?
  • When compressed air is used to clean clothing, are employees trained to reduce the pressure to less than 10 pounds per square inch (psi)?
  • When using compressed air for cleaning, do employees wear protective chip guarding and PPE?
  • Are safety chains or other suitable locking devices used at couplings of high-pressure hose lines where a connection failure would create a hazard?
  • Before compressed air is used to empty containers of liquid, is the safe working pressure of the container checked?
  • When compressed air is used with abrasive blast cleaning equipment, is the operating valve a type that must be held open manually?
  • When compressed air is used to inflate auto tires, are a clip-on chuck and an inline regulator preset to 40 psi required?
  • Are employees prohibited from using compressed air to clean up or move combustible dust if such action could cause the dust to be suspended in the air and cause a fire or explosion hazard?
Source: Federal OSHA