Workplace Health & Safety Consideration for Plumbers

Posted: 11/4/2015

Workplace Health & Safety Considerations for Plumbers | F.E. Moran

In the construction industry, safety is a hot topic.  With personal protective equipment, Job Safety Analysis, safety toolbox talks, and more - personal safety and holding co-workers accountable for safety it important.  There is one sub-sector of the construction industry that often gets lost in the safety conversation - plumbing.  Here, we'll talk about the safety concerns plumbers should consider. 

Biohazard Waste 

Biohazard waste is just another day on the job for plumbers, but that doesn't mean that they should just ignore it.  Sewage and bodily waste as well as other biohazards cause 320,000 deaths a year.  Plumbers should always be ready to face a biohazard with appropriate clothing and equipment.

Flammable & Combustible Materials  

Countless major fires have ignited from plumbers using torches near natural gas that they were unaware was leaking or not turned off completely.  Plumbers should always ensure that gas is fully turned off before using a torch.

Confined Spaces 

Confined spaces have a slew of personal safety problems.  Carbon monoxide, engulfment, drowning, or explosions are very real possibilities.  In confined spaces, airborne gases could concentrate and cause a fire or explosion or cause harmful effects to the plumber.

Follow OSHA's confined space recommendations. 

Electricity 

Electricity is the biggest concern for plumbers.  The metal pipes that plumbers often work with are conductive for electricity.  Plumbers should always use insulated gloves, voltage monitors, bridging conductors, and volt testers.  Once a year, gloves should be replaced to ensure they work effectively.

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