Risk assessment of air cannons at sporting events

Travis G. Chewning-Kulick, Marvin E. Lewis, Michael J. Benson, Joshua M. Keena, Matthew A. Posner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This study looked to determine the safety of air cannons used at public events based on experimentally collected ballistic data. Specifically, the probable injuries to bystanders resulting from being hit by various projectiles launched from air cannons were investigated. Due to the rapid deceleration of projectiles fired from air cannons as they travel through the air, this study focuses on the worst case scenario: point blank impacts. Based on data collected using a chronograph and force plate, this study asserts that it is likely an air cannon operating under the conditions of this experiment can cause significant ocular, maxillofacial, laryngeal, and extremity injuries. To mitigate the risks posed by using air cannons, this study recommends the use of safety glasses for operators, mandatory operator training, automatic trigger locking mechanisms, frequent inspections of the cannon, regulations on the projectiles that can be fired, and the establishment of a minimum firing distance between the operator and bystanders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmerging Technologies; Materials
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics to Structures; Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791850688
StatePublished - 2016
EventASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2016 - Phoenix, United States
Duration: Nov 11 2016Nov 17 2016

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)


OtherASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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