Dry Ice Blasting Safety

  • Do not touch the dry ice with your bare hands!
  • Wear a face shield, gloves, 32+NRR ear plugs & ear muffs.
  • Close all lids (hopper and pellet box) before dry ice blasting.
  • Attach hoses securely.
  • Ventilate when blasting in confined spaces.
  • Never point the nozzle at anyone and always exercise extreme caution when people are in the blast area.
  • Be careful where you blast.
  • Use hose whip checks.
  • Keep hoses and power cord out of forklift traffic.
  • Check hoses and cables for nicks and gouges.
  • Never operate the blasting unit without first reading the Operator Manual.
  • Never expose bare skin to CO2 pellets.
  • Always wear proper ear and eye protection.
  • Everyone in the blast area must comply with all safety requirements.
  • Never use the blasting unit for anything except the intended usage.
  • Never operate a damaged blasting unit.
  • Untrained personnel should never operate the dry ice blasting unit.
  • Never operate in a confined space without an approved ventilation system.
  • Always turn the main power off and remove the applicator control cable before removing the blast hose.
  • Never exceed recommended pressure levels.
  • Always ground the material being cleaned.
  • Do not kink the blast hose before or during operation.

Electrical Safety Precautions

  • Do not operate equipment with electrical parts exposed.
  • Do not operate equipment that has had safety circuits "jumpered" or rendered inoperable.
  • Follow the guidelines set forth in the governing codes of your local/national body as a minimum standard for ensuring safety.

Blast Hose Safety Precautions

  • Always tighten hose fittings with a wrench.
  • Never use hoses above the recommended working pressure (see table below).
  • Never disconnect the air supply hose without first shutting off the air source.
  • Bleed the compressed air before disconnecting the hoses.
  • Never operate the equipment if the hose whip check is not installed.

Safety Precautions with Carbon Dioxide & Dry Ice

  • Caution must be exercised!
  • This unit utilizes carbon dioxide pellets (dry ice) as a blast media.
  • Dry ice is very cold (-109 degrees F/-79 degrees C) and may freeze skin instantly. Never touch dry ice directly with your hands.  Wear gloves.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring gas and a normal by-product of breathing but it can be dangerous when concentrated in enclosed spaces because it displaces oxygen and can asphyxiate a person or animal if there is insufficient circulation or lack of a fresh air source.
  • CO2 is a nontoxic, non-corrosive, non-conductive and is approved by the FDA and USDA. While exposure to CO2 gas is not harmful in low concentrations, caution must be exercised when using any material that can displace oxygen .
  • Always use protective clothing (thermal gloves) and eye protection (face shield) when handling CO2 solids or when using the dry ice blasting unit.

Noise Control Safety Issues

Open-air dry ice blasting is very noisy. The only way to accurately determine exposure levels is to use a dosimeter during blasting operations and apply corrections based on the actual measured sound spectrum of the blast energy.

The standard Cold Jet dry ice blasting system is easily adjusted to deliver good cleaning performance at sound levels of 90 decibels. If more power is necessary to perform difficult cleaning, simple external adjustments are all that is required. At these increased power levels, the noise level may be in the 100-110 decibel range. As the sound energy goes down, the level of cleaning aggressiveness decreases. A major benefit of Cold Jet over competitors is the patented single-hose feeder design. This allows the dry ice blasting system to retain more aggression than the two hose systems at lower air pressures. Because of this greater aggression, a Cold Jet unit can clean much faster, thereby further reducing the worker's time of exposure.

The Cold Jet system will add to the sound level in your facility. However, with an understanding of the applicable OSHA and NIOSH regulations, the Cold Jet system can be used safely with proper monitoring and hearing protection .

  • Hearing protection is required in the proximity of open-air dry ice blasting operations.
  • Any barrier (i.e., welding curtains) between the blasting and other works can greatly reduce the sound exposure levels.
  • Actual worker exposure levels can only be obtained by carefully measured dosimeter data.
  • The single hose Cold Jet system is more powerful at a given sound level than a two-hose system.
  • Minimizing worker exposure time is important. Sometimes a louder but more aggressive system will actually reduce worker exposure by cleaning faster .
  • By using ear plugs and earmuffs , an operator can blast for 4 hours at a sound level of 125 dBA. The same operator can blast for 8 hours at a sound level of 117 dBA.
  • Some Cold Jet sound levels:
  • For a given nozzle, less sound means lowered cleaning aggression.
  • The object to be blasted can greatly affect the operator sound exposure. A concave surface will reflect the noise back to the operator while parallel plates tend to absorb more of the sound energy.
  • The sound spectrum of the dry ice blast is strongly biased towards the higher frequency ranges. These frequencies are less damaging and easier to block out with foam earplugs .
  • A hearing conservation program is required in any industrial area where an operator is exposed to 85 dBA or greater for a period of 8 hours. We can assist in setting up additional administrative measures to meet these requirements.
  • Again, it is important to stress that there is no regulation pertaining to absolute sound level permitted . The critical measurement is a time-weighted dosage . Field tests can help estimate what your particular worker exposure levels might be. The steps to protect workers hearing are usually very simple and easy to implement.