air pressure bad habits

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Blog entry by auggy53 posted 07-10-2011 06:21 AM 1402 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Compressed Air Injury
A machine operator in a woodworking plant covered with sawdust decided to clean himself off with compressed air. He held the nozzle 12” from the palm of his left hand. When he opened the nozzle the air, under 80 pounds of pressure, struck and entered his hand. Before he realized what had happened, his arm had blown up as big as a grapefruit and was shooting pain – from fingertips to shoulders. He had excruciating pain in his head and a feeling that the top of his head was about to be blown off. This feeling was so real and the pain so intense that when help arrived, he was actually trying to hold the top of his head in place.

The surgeon said it might have been worse. Had the air forced its way into the blood stream, it would have made its way to the very small blood vessels of the brain causing a clot, which would have burst the vessels and caused death.

i copied this from the net , but i have actually seen this happen a few years ago . a work mate was blowing chips from his hand and hit a small cut on his finger and it blew up like a balloon . i had just read an article about the very same thing so i took him into the nurses office to read the article because he didnt believe me .after that happened i made sure everyone read that article . it dont take much air to kill you so please wipe your hands instead.

-- rick

13 comments so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1662 days

#1 posted 07-10-2011 06:39 AM

Man that’s creepy! I routinely clean my self off that way!
Guess I’ll stick with a shop vac…

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View jumbojack's profile


1481 posts in 1710 days

#2 posted 07-10-2011 06:50 AM

enough said,

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View David's profile


171 posts in 1928 days

#3 posted 07-10-2011 08:59 AM

Sorry, but i do not believe either. Just doesn’t seem possible. I could be wrong though.

-- “Don’t tell me what can’t be done, tell me what you want done then shut up and get out of my way and let me do it!”

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 1725 days

#4 posted 07-10-2011 11:27 AM

BS flag at full mast. Not at 12” away. He must have made contact.

I know that a 0 degree tip on a pressure washer will take the hide off and inject water into you in a blink, but not 80 psi air onto a palm at 12”. I just did it from 1” with 110 psi. Kids, don’t try this at home.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View gfadvm's profile


13924 posts in 1776 days

#5 posted 07-10-2011 04:35 PM

I dont buy this either. I routinely “dust off” with 175# of pressure less than 12” away. Works great after my daughter buzzes my hair with the #40 blades!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2394 days

#6 posted 07-10-2011 05:10 PM

Put me on the ”I think it is BS list”. I have been cleaning with compressed air for over 30 years with no problem. I f you want anyone to believe this then provide a article an its source.

View DocK16's profile


1167 posts in 3172 days

#7 posted 07-11-2011 02:44 AM

It must be true I saw it/read it on the internet.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View EEngineer's profile


997 posts in 2699 days

#8 posted 07-11-2011 04:37 AM

Yeah, I vote bullcrap! Source please!

Look, I’m all for safety. But stories like this do nothing to increase safety in the shop! Only paranoia…

Even an open cut in the hand usually does not involve an artery or vein. If it did, it would be bleeding enough that it must be covered with a bandage. Only injection of air directly into an artery or vein will cause these types of problems.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View eaglewrangler's profile


60 posts in 1623 days

#9 posted 07-11-2011 05:24 AM

shop myth, the air nozzle usually have a air gap to spread pressure, however I do notice after woodworking, while eating or even driving, wood dust falls into my eyes. I use a damp cloth for skin and face, the air for clothes and equipment. The air bubble in the blood would take direct contact from a nonstandard spray nozzle or pehaps a basketball needle to get in the bloodstream, and it doesn’t cause a clot, but can reach the heart and cause a spasm or heart stoppage.
Now hydrolic oil can shoot out and go into the skin, or so I have been told.

View WayneC's profile


12638 posts in 3183 days

#10 posted 07-11-2011 05:27 AM

I know someone who encountered 3000 PSI Hydrolic fluid on an airplane. Went right through his leg…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View thiel's profile


374 posts in 2377 days

#11 posted 07-11-2011 06:17 AM

If I want to inflate myself, I just blow into my thumb. I guess I’m old school that way..

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 2174 days

#12 posted 07-11-2011 06:52 AM

Definitely BS! I routenely blow down with 120#, and I have even put my finger on the tip and had nothing happen.

But, an airless paint sprayer will slice in and inject paint, and force it up your arm along every tendon, vein and artery. I have seen a minor accident, and my buddy who is an ER doc, had a patient with this, who had to have his entire arm sliced apart down to pieces to clean it out, truly nasty stuff. but they operate at 3,000 psi and spray liquid with enough mass to behave like a bullet.

View HerbC's profile


1437 posts in 1945 days

#13 posted 07-12-2011 08:16 AM

High pressure steam plants have the potential to develop steam leaks that can do a great deal of damage.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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