What Air Compressor Safety Hazards Do You Need to Know?

Air compressors are useful for many jobs, from household cleaning to transportation. However, like most types of machinery, they also possess safety hazards when not operated properly. That is why, whether you are using air compressors in-home or at industrial sites, safety should always get priority.

What are the most common air compressor safety hazards? If you are unaware of the safety issues, avoiding them will be difficult. High pressure, explosions, electrical hazards, etc., are some of the common dangers of air compressors.

In this guide, we looked at the problems comprehensively. Also, look at the safety tips while using an air compressor and minimize the risk of an accident.

What Are the Air Compressor Safety Hazards?

Though, air compressors are significantly safe to use. But if safety protocols are not maintained properly, damage can happen in many ways.

High Pressure

The air compressor produces a high amount of pressure based on the application type. If the human body parts are exposed to such high pressure, organs may rupture.

For example, if the pressure enters the human body accidentally, an air embolism can occur. In easy terms, air embolisms are air bubbles. When air bubbles enter your bloodstream, it blocks an artery or vein. It can become more dangerous if air bubbles reach the brain, causing brain stroke.

Read more: Best high presure air compressor 4500 psi

Electrical Issues

The electrical danger is another safety hazard of the air compressor. You may experience electric shocks if an air compressor is not properly plugged. Moreover, fire incidents can happen due to a lack of voltage. Furthermore, the wire can get overheated or melted due to voltage shortage.

Toxic Fumes

Air compressors run with gas and diesel to produce high pressure. These fuels generate toxic fumes. You will experience breathing problems if your workspace is not ventilated properly.

A few models of air compressors emit flying dust instead of fumes. If you have such an air compressor in your home or garage, place them outside when working.

High Noise Level

Air compressors create lots of noise.

A noisy environment is always disturbing and annoying. If you are continuously exposed to high noise levels, you will face a hearing problem.

Moreover, you can’t concentrate on your job due to a high sound level, resulting in inefficient productivity.

However, it only happens when the operator doesn’t wear earplugs.

How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Injuries?

You can easily reduce the risk of injuries by following the below air compressor safety inspection checklist.

Proper Setup is the Key

Without a proper setup of the air compressor, you can’t expect efficient performance. Moreover, improper setup will increase the risk of an accident.

Here are some of the points you need to take care of while setting up the air compressor.

  • Secure the air compressor valve. Make sure everything is connected properly. For instance, the drain valve needs to be placed a minimum of 2 ft. from the ground.
  • All the cables should not come in contact with water and moisture. The wiring should be away from the weather hazards.
  • Install or place the air compressor in a well-ventilated area. Avoid areas where the temperature is high, and the condition is wet or humid.

Monitor the Surroundings Before Turning the Air Compressor On

Before using an air compressor, it is significantly essential to check the surroundings. Find the below point that you need to check before starting.

  • Water and moisture can cause short-circuits. So, check if the surrounding is wet or watery. If yes, don’t install the air compressor in that area.
  • Assess the machine for visible cracks or damages. Don’t use it if you find any damage in any part of your air compressor. Replace the air compressor urgently.
  • Finally, make sure the air compressor is perfectly connected to the power source. Well-secured valve and properly connected plug is a must.

Evaluate the Machine Condition

After checking the surroundings, there are multiple safety checks before you start operating the air compressor.

  • Check the air compressor oil level. Without proper lubrication, an air compressor can’t run.
  • Some pneumatic tools require more lubrication to work efficiently. So, evaluate whether extra lubrication is required. At the same time, choose inflammable lubricants.
  • Over time, dust and dirt can stick to the air filter. Thus, the air filter can get clogged. Open the air filter and check it. If it is clogged, clean it or replace it.
  • As stated earlier, some air compressors run with gas or diesel. Look at the fuel levels and if it requires refilling, do it. When refilling, ensure that the air compressor is completely cool.
  • If pneumatic tools are connected with the air compressor, keep them turned off until you are satisfied that everything is perfect with the air compressor.

What is the Proper Maintenance for Air Compressors?

Air compressors require proper maintenance to deliver efficient performance. Find the below proper maintenance tips for the air compressor.

  • Maintain scheduled maintenance monthly and yearly. This way, your air compressor will remain cleaned and updated.
  • Turn off the air compressor before beginning the maintenance.
  • Make sure every connection, oil level, valve positions, etc are done appropriately. If there is any damaged part, replace them without fail. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning.


Can the air compressor explode?

Yes, an air compressor can explode due to the below reasons,

  • Substantial corrosion or rust in the compressor tank
  • The buildup of dust and dirt in the compressor coil
  • The compressor can overheat because of high pressure and temperature, which may lead to explode

Is it OK to leave air in the air compressor?

Yes, you can leave air in the air compressor, but the condition is that the compressor needs to be maintained regularly. Make sure regular checking and draining of accumulated moisture are happening.

How long can I run my air compressor?

Based on the air compressor type and size, you can run it 24X7. However, maintaining the air compressor safety checklist is a must.

Can an air compressor kill you?

The straightforward answer is YES. Life-threatening injuries, including blindness, internal bleeding, skin discolorations, etc., may happen if your body parts are exposed to the high air pressure of air compressors.

Final Words

Sadly, many of us don’t consider air compressor safety hazards when working with it. Things can go out of hand if you don’t ensure periodic maintenance of the air compressor; also, checking preoperative factors is essential to avoid injury.

However, air compressors are not dangerous as long as you follow the basic guidelines. Hopefully, after reading this comprehensive guideline, you won’t have to deal with workshop accidents related to the air compressor. Meticulously maintain the above discussion and have a safe workstation.

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