Do you have the right air hose clamp?

30 Dec.,2022


hose clamp types

By Travis Halsted, Loss Control Consultant

I was recently contacted by one of our customers with a concern that I do not believe many of us think of. This company was concerned whether or not they had the right form of clamp at the tool end of their air hose. This particular company had the worm-drive style hose clamp holding their quick connect air fittings onto the air hose. The worm drive style hose clamp is the clamp that is tightened by using a flat head screw driver or socket to turn a screw that tightens the clamp. This is a common practice among the vast majority of companies that I visit. Upon the correspondence regarding their concerns, the MTMIC Loss Control team spoke of prior MIOSHA inspections and any knowledge of standards regarding hose clamps for air hoses. Through this communication it was found that a prior federal OSHA inspection from 2013 did cite a facility for the wrong type of air hose clamps. In this situation the facility was found to have worm-driven hose clamps that connected their tools to the air hose. The Enforcement Officer found this to be a hazard, as if the hose clamp was to malfunction or loosen, then the employees would be exposed to the whipping action of the air hose. This was cited under the federal OSHA rule 29 CFR 1910.243(b)(2). That rule states that hose and hose connections used for conducting compressed air to utilization equipment shall be designed for the pressure and service to which they are subjected. The company in this particular inspection was cited for $5,500 for 4 instances of this violation.

While this was a federal OSHA case, I wanted to identify whether MIOSHA has anything in place that states that this particular item is an item where they would write a citation. Between my own research and by contacting a MIOSHA Compliance Supervisor, I found the information that I was searching for. In Part 38. Hand and Portable Powered Tools there was one rule found that pertains closely to this topic. The MIOSHA R408.13861 Rule 3861(4) states that hose connections shall have a positive-locking action or the connecting sections shall have a safety chain to restrain any whipping action if the sections become disconnected.

The question then became, what is the proper type of clamp to be used. While there are a great deal of clamp styles, the ear clamp is a clamp that the MIOSHA supervisor did state as having the locking action. While we can’t recommend a particular clamp, this clamp provides a much stronger hold on the item than the worm-drive style clamp. The ear clamp does require the use of a special hand tool, but the clamps and tool are still an inexpensive compliant fix.

While this is not an often cited infraction, it is a violation and thus it is subject to fines if a MIOSHA Enforcement Officer was to visit your facility. More importantly, because of this rule, it has been deemed a safety hazard and one that could cause great bodily harm. As both of these consequences can greatly affect the daily operations of your facility, I highly recommend that you inquire on the type of hose clamps that you use and address the need for a new clamp if you currently use the worm drive style. As in any case, please do not hesitate to contact your Loss Control Consultant if you have any questions about the proper clamp or security measures associated with air hoses.