Even with protective gear and years of experience, there are many plumber safety hazards that professionals need to be aware of while on the job. In fact, all crafts and professions have their set of dangers to look out for. Risks are simply a part of this thing we call life.
However, plumbers certainly face many potential accidents each day at work. And unfortunately, several long-term concerns must be prioritized if a plumber wants to live a long and healthy life.
In this blog, the experts at Flow Pros share some of the highest risks plumbers endure every day. And to protect our fellow technicians, we have included safety measures and solutions to help keep plumbers safe while working wonders in our homes and businesses.
Staying Safe on the Job
Sometimes, plumbers don’t get enough credit for how risky their work can be. These professionals endanger their health each and every day to keep you and your family safe and comfortable. Luckily, there are many plumber safety methods that each technician should be familiar with to prevent health risks and injury on the job.
Soon, we will go over the various hazards this craft entails. But first, we will share a few basic safety tips that help keep plumbers from harm:
- Be Prepared: Before starting a job, ensure you are up to date on building codes, special procedures, and anything else the project will include.
- Wear Protective Safety Gear: Plumbers must prioritize using the right gear for the task at hand. This means wearing goggles when your eyes are at risk, putting on a mask when contaminants are present, and a slew of other safety measures.
- Correctly Use the Right Tools: A plumbing technician needs to know what tools are required for the job and how to use them safely and properly.
- Be Observant and Aware of Your Surroundings: With any plumbing project, professionals must continuously be aware of their surroundings to protect themselves from avoidable injuries.
8 Plumber Safety Hazards You Need to Know
1 | Working at Extreme Heights
The number one plumber safety hazard is working at high heights. Plumbers need to use extreme caution when working on plumbing fixtures and managing pipes in places like a rooftop. In fact, even being a few feet off the ground can be a risk.
Plenty of safety gear, tools, and devices can help make the task safe for these dedicated workers. For instance, a cherry picker or certified harness makes working at heights as safe as possible.
However, it is essential to be extra careful while completing the job and be wary of weather conditions. With the right gear and the right mindset, plumbers can protect themselves from a tragic accident.
2 | Exposure to Harsh Chemicals
Plumbers work closely with hazardous chemicals like asbestos and lead. When exposed to these substances, respiratory issues can occur. And although newer homes are built without these dangerous materials, buildings designed before the 1970s may contain the two.
For this reason, it’s important for a plumber to ask the property owner if lead or asbestos is in the structure of the building. Not doing so can result in long-term exposure to the chemicals and lead to severe illness.
And if the home does utilize one of the two, the right gear, clothes, and plumber safety precautions will need to be in place.
3 | Mold and Mildew
One of the first things a plumber looks for when servicing a home or business is evidence of mold and mildew. Fungal growth can be serious trouble for those living in the house and the professional completing a repair or maintenance service. Mold and mildew may be located on leaky plumbing fixtures, paneling, under sinks, or the walls.
Plumbers must proceed with caution because respiratory sickness can arise with exposure to these fungal organisms. Not to mention, the professional is responsible for bringing the mold to the property owner’s attention.
A plumber can protect themselves by wearing a certified mask, gloves, goggles, and clothing with long sleeves and pant legs. Nevertheless, it is equally important to be aware of the signs of mold and mildew illness and take symptoms seriously:
- Sore throat
- Skin rash
- Difficulty breathing
4 | Hearing Damage
Especially for those who have been in the craft for many years, hearing damage or loss is possible. Plumbers use loud equipment for many of their tasks. Without caring for their ears along the way, they potentially risk their hearing altogether.
When working with tools and equipment that buzz and bang, wear earplugs. Your ears will thank you for implementing this plumber safety method.
5 | Eye Injury Risk
Unfortunately, plumbers must work in places that may have abundant bacteria and chemicals that can harm a person’s eyesight. But on the brighter side, this is one of the easiest plumber safety hazards to prevent.
It can be as simple as wearing goggles when tackling any plumbing job. Additionally, it is essential for these professionals to keep up with doctor visits to catch any eye injury as early as possible.
6 | Working with Electricity
Another risk plumbers endure each day of work is the possibility of being electrocuted. It’s common for all kinds of utility pipes to be located in the same place. And for this reason, there is always a chance that a pipe can be incorrectly identified, or the professional may encounter bare wires.
In this situation, electrocution is possible. That’s why a plumber needs to move slowly and cautiously when working in spaces with this kind of exposure.
To prevent this from happening, the technician should closely follow the right procedures. Plus, wearing protective gear, like gloves, can go a long way when trying to avoid this plumber safety hazard.
7 | Dangerous Hand Tools
Plumbers use various complicated and specialized tools for their craft. This equipment can be dangerous if not used properly with care. However, there are some rules a plumber can work by in order to prevent injuries from their advanced tools.
For instance, any plumber should check a piece of equipment for faulty operation before using it. One of the most common ways for a professional to be harmed by a tool is when it is defective. In fact, no matter how reliable the tool has been, it is essential to check for malfunction before starting the job.
Another way for plumbers to keep themselves safe is to educate themselves on any new equipment before use. All too often, overconfident technicians will dive into a project using a brand-new tool without learning exactly how to use it. Because of this, their risk of injury is higher.
8 | Chronic Stress
Sadly, if a plumber is working for the wrong company, they can quickly become overworked. This is undoubtedly the case for understaffed businesses that work their technicians harder than they should. As a plumber, it is vital to be aware of the profession’s major stressors. The following are some of the most stressful situations a plumber deals with:
- Working long hours
- Not taking a day off over several months
- Managing time
- Trying to meet unrealistic deadlines
- Dealing with daily traffic
- Working with difficult customers
That being said, plumbers must prioritize their mental health to avoid chronic stress and the ailments that go along with it, such as fatigue and other health complications.
Working Safely with the Experts at Flow Pros Plumbing
At Flow Pros Plumbing, we prioritize the safety and health of our technicians. You can rest assured knowing that our staff uses caution and care in their craft.
But, it never hurts to remind your plumber to take safety seriously and use the right precautions while servicing your home or business. After all, the risks are high without prioritizing these qualities.
So, if you need any plumbing maintenance, repair, installation, or inspection, count on the experts at Flow Pros Plumbing.
Call us today for all your plumbing needs. We are happy to serve!