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General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
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General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses
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Some Related Topic Tags
pressure (general), safety (general)
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  Post Number #9  
Old 14th March 2013, 03:57 PM
Mikishots's Avatar
Mikishots

 
 
Total Posts: 880
Re: General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by statdoug View Post

I ran in to a story that I have heard before, in one of our Safety trainings. The anecdote talks about possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses. I have heard this before, but strongly suspect that it is actually an urban legend. Does anyone out there know of any documented cases of this occurring?
Absolutely not an urban legend - in high school, my shop teacher was hospitalized for this, and unfortunately suffered permanent damage from it; he was not fooling around, but removing cedar dust from his arms. After that, only staff that had participated in a safety session were permitted to use compressed air hoses, and all trigger air-blowing tips were kept locked up.

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  Post Number #10  
Old 14th March 2013, 07:06 PM
kgott

 
 
Total Posts: 1,027
Re: General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by statdoug View Post

I ran in to a story that I have heard before, in one of our Safety trainings. The anecdote talks about possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses. I have heard this before, but strongly suspect that it is actually an urban legend. Does anyone out there know of any documented cases of this occurring?
When I was an apprentice a long time ago, I was told by the old blokes that before my time, a group of apprentices grabbed another apprentice put an air hose where the sun don't shine and turned it on and the apprentice died an hour or so later.

True or false, most likely true because apprentices were apprentices when I was one and because we also did silly stupid things during 'initiation'. True also because the apprentices were warned not do this particular trick.
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  Post Number #11  
Old 14th March 2013, 08:45 PM
statdoug

 
 
Total Posts: 117
Re: General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses

These are some good stories, but still strictly anecdotal. As illustrated by some of these posts, compressed air has a lot of potential mechanisms of injury. The stories told about air hose-to-skin contact may have caused other kinds of damage such as bruising and subsequent blood clots. It takes a fairly large amount of air introduced directly into a vein, or an artery leading to a vital organ to cause death. It would seem to me that, at worst, super-cutaneous air, even at 110psi, would only penetrate capilaries. Arteries and veins are relatively deep.
  Post Number #12  
Old 15th March 2013, 07:20 AM
TPMB4

 
 
Total Posts: 379
Re: General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses

Looking at the occurances of it happening among such a small population as on this forum is not a good way of dismissing a risk. The fact that bodies such as the HSE in the UK actually published information on this (and I think our H&S guy told me prosecuted a company over it) suggests that is does happen in enough cases for it to merit awareness to be made in companies with air lines.

I don't have a clue about mechanisms for it happening and I am sure most people on here do not have the expertise to really comment. I would ask those in a H&S role if they have received any information on this risk from the appropriate national or state body that deals with H&S in the workplace? Does anyone actually have a bulletin that contains details on this concern? Even better if it has any instances or the number of cases per annum. Without this it is at risk of being dismissed as being an urban legend. All I know is in my company, if I used an airline to clean myself off I would be sacked. The directors treat it that seriously and did hand out warnings before they changed the policy to a direct dismissal. I think it was because it has happened at another company or they got it raised by an external H&S auditor / external body.
  Post Number #13  
Old 15th March 2013, 11:35 AM
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Jim Wynne

 
 
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Re: General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by statdoug View Post

These are some good stories, but still strictly anecdotal. As illustrated by some of these posts, compressed air has a lot of potential mechanisms of injury. The stories told about air hose-to-skin contact may have caused other kinds of damage such as bruising and subsequent blood clots. It takes a fairly large amount of air introduced directly into a vein, or an artery leading to a vital organ to cause death. It would seem to me that, at worst, super-cutaneous air, even at 110psi, would only penetrate capilaries. Arteries and veins are relatively deep.
Wikipedia reference-linkSuperficial vein
  Post Number #14  
Old 15th March 2013, 12:24 PM
Randy's Avatar
Randy

 
 
Total Posts: 8,560
Re: General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by statdoug View Post

These are some good stories, but still strictly anecdotal. As illustrated by some of these posts, compressed air has a lot of potential mechanisms of injury. The stories told about air hose-to-skin contact may have caused other kinds of damage such as bruising and subsequent blood clots. It takes a fairly large amount of air introduced directly into a vein, or an artery leading to a vital organ to cause death. It would seem to me that, at worst, super-cutaneous air, even at 110psi, would only penetrate capilaries. Arteries and veins are relatively deep.
You're probably right, the dead soldier I stood there and looked at was probably faking it to get out of work. Then again as a former deputy coroner I can kinda tell when one isn't faking

Pressurized air is extremely dangerous...Try this experiment...Cup one of your hands and then "pop" it directly over one of your ear openings...It will hurt! The pain is caused by pressurized air (about .5psi above ambient) pressing against your eardrum (this is actually a great self-defense technique when you do it hard and fast)...Now imagine 100psi, severe injury for sure and under the right conditions you could get invasion into the brain cavity....Lights out my friend....

The movie "No Country for Old Men" also provided an example of pressurized air being employed to injure or kill
  Post Number #15  
Old 15th March 2013, 12:49 PM
statdoug

 
 
Total Posts: 117
Re: General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses

I agree with you 100% that there are inherent hazards, and even if it is causing thrombolic clots instead of embolisms, the end result is the same. My curiosity and skepticism is not out of a desire to say we can ignore the hazards of compressed air, but as a statistician who is also responsible for safety training, I don't wish to promote mis-information. If I can't back it up with documentation, I try not to say it.
  Post Number #16  
Old 15th March 2013, 01:16 PM
statdoug

 
 
Total Posts: 117
Re: General Safety Question - Possibly fatal air embolisms caused by air hoses

I found the following on a website named allnurses.com:

"The lethal dose of intravascular air in humans is unknown, but accidental injections of between 100 and 300 ml have been fatal. The mechanism of death from massive air embolus is circulatory obstruction and cardiovascular collapse resulting from air trapped in the right ventricular outflow tract."

There were also other estimates by people on this site from 3ml (cc) on up to 100 associated with problems, though not necessarily fatal.

This would be a huge amount of air in a superficial vein, and it is very hard for me to imagine being able to force this amount of air through skin and the vascular wall without having or creating an opening in the skin.






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