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Produced by Virtual College in association with BCAS, Thorite is offering two online courses designed to reassure employers that their staff are working safely with compressed-air and pneumatic systems.

The first, ‘Working safely with compressed air’, is designed to help employers fulfil their health and safety obligations and provides evidence, though an online assessment, that the individual has understood safe working practices and their responsibilities.

Taking around an hour to complete, it is suitable for users of handheld air tools and those who use compressed air.

The second course, ‘Certificate in compressed-air system technology’, has been created to provide a comprehensive introduction to the main principles of compressed-air systems.

The course is aimed at manufacturers, distributors, installers and users of compressed-air equipment and systems, and comprises 10 modules.    

Once the course has been successfully completed, participants can print out their own BCAS/Virtual College Certificate; Course One costs £30 for a single participant and Course Two costs £385 for a single participant.

Key specifications

Course One         

  • Hazards of compressed air as an energy source                                   
  • Hazards arising from various air tools
  • Use of personal protective equipment
  • Employer and employee health and safety responsibilities when using compressed air
  • Specific hazards and risks associated with blow-gun use
  • List of safe working practices to be followed

Course Two

  • Science and properties of air — how air behaves depending on its pressure, volume and temperature   
  • Applications of compressed air — where and why compressed air is used  
  • Compressed air systems — key components within a system and what each component does     
  • Air compressors — different technologies and what each type of compressor is used   
  • Control systems — how the supply of compressed air can be matched to the needs of the users
  • Air treatment — cleaning and drying the air to the required standard
  • Storage and distribution of compressed air                                                                                                           
  • Maintenance of compressed-air systems                                                                                                          
  • Health, safety and environment — health and safety legislation affecting compressed-air systems                   
  • Compressed air in action                                                                                                                      


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