Plumbers Need to Know How to Prevent Safety Obstacles
Plumbers – they unclog toilets and drain pipes, right? Well, as every plumber knows, there is a lot more to it than that. And the work can be dangerous at times.
One of the most significant safety hazards plumbers face is the one posed by exposure to chemicals, lead paint and materials, such as asbestos. And don’t forget mold.
Before starting any job, make sure such hazards are abated, at least to the point that the job site becomes a safe place to get your work done. Anyone who must work around such hazards should get certified to work under those conditions and use the required on-the-job practices.
Use Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to become familiar with chemicals such as adhesives, solder and solvents you may need to use on the job. Make sure you have the personal protective equipment or PPE that you need. That includes during times when you may be exposed to sewage. Wear gloves, wash your hands, wear coveralls and decontaminate your equipment after each use.
Consider your work in confined spaces. You do not want to get yourself in a position where you are working in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. Also, be cognizant of exposure to hydrogen sulfide, a byproduct of sewage decomposition. Use air monitors in such situations to avoid health issues.
Electric shock can also be a safety issue for plumbers. To avoid it, use power tools safe for a wet environment. Also, be very cautious when working with metal pipes. If you feel a tingling when touching the pipe, stop work immediately.
Always wear the appropriate footwear in wet environments to avoid falls, trips, or slips. Sturdy shoes with protective toe boxes and non-slip soles are best. And to avoid falling, make sure the work area is clear of any clutter and unnecessary equipment.
Wear heat-insulated gloves and face shields to avoid burns from hot equipment parts, steam lines, and other potential threats. Be sure to drain pipes before opening them.
When necessary, study detailed drawings and specifications for even more safety before starting your plumbing work. Also, coordinate with other work agencies to ensure all are maintaining the safety of workers, no matter which contractor employs them.
When working at heights, use proper scaffolding. Thoroughly inspect scaffolding for stability before using it. Properly secure any ropes or zulas to prevent accidents.
Always maintain a first-aid kit at the job site in case of accidental injuries and monitor safety conditions during every phase of the plumbing work.
Proper lighting and ventilation are essential in congested spaces such as ducts and shafts.
When excavating for sewer line work, observe all safety norms, especially in trenches.
Every qualified and well-experienced plumber can help prevent everything from minor accidents to fatalities by following safety precautions and tips. But it is also the responsibility of the property owner to follow precautions when workers are present.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.