People who are working in trades encounter different risks every time they are doing their job. When it comes to plumbing specifically, there are times due to the nature of their job, their health and safety are compromised.
When it comes to business, the quality of the output or service, and the satisfaction of the customer or client is always given high regard. It is because by achieving customer or client satisfaction, the company or business will be able to earn a profit, and eventually succeed. Because of this, even if the job, such as plumbing, is dangerous, people are still taking it. But other than customer’s or client’s satisfaction, it is essential that in every job that we do, the well-being of the people working or observing is also considered a top priority. Without the people who are doing these high-risk jobs, there a lot of things that we will not be allowed to do conveniently.
Moreover, our health and lives can be even be jeopardized. For example, plumbers are responsible for proper waste disposal or removal. Some people might not notice how consequential this is, but there are plenty of lives being saved because the water we use is not contaminated with dangerous chemicals.
Using a Project Management Software
To reduce the number of accidents, some ways to be taken include following the safety precautions, careful planning, and proper information dissemination. All of these things can be achieved with the help of project management software. A software like Pro Crew Schedule will allow the contractor to update the construction team about any changes, developments, and other significant information. These updates can be about crew schedules, changes in plan, materials, equipment, and other resources, updates about the job site, or reminders about safety precautions. These updates can be in a document, photo, or video form and can still all be disseminated to the crew using a construction management software.
1.Heights and Falling Objects
Part of plumbers’ work is working with heights to manage pipes located in places such as rooftops, skyscrapers, etc. The danger on this is high because of the risk of getting into accidents like slipping and falling. Situations such as accidentally being hit by falling objects when drilling on walls, which can lead to injuries in the different parts of the body, are also possible. For the plumbers’ safety, it is best that they work under good weather, conduct inspections regularly, and use certified harnesses and attachment points. For support, using a cherry picker, a certified mobile scaffolding, or a fixed scaffolding can also be a big help. Moreover, to protect themselves from injuring caused by falling objects and other risks, it is also necessary to wear protective clothing, equipment, and gears such as helmets and safety harnesses.
2. Chemical Hazards
Another threat present in a plumber’s job is the risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals. Some of the dangerous chemicals that they can encounter while working are asbestos and lead, resulting in respiratory problems. They may encounter building materials used in building houses before the 1970s can contain these dangerous chemicals. For this reason, before working in the area, they should first ask the property owner whether lead or asbestos had been used in the structure to avoid getting exposed to these chemicals. Moreover, plumbers should always follow the safety precautions and wear the right gear and clothes, including breathing masks, eye goggles, gloves, etc.
Another safety hazard for both the plumbers and their clients is mold. Mold can grow in plumbing fixtures that have leaks. To prevent the risk brought by molds, plumbers must wear protective gear such as a respiratory mask, gloves, goggles, long pants, and long sleeves. It is also best that when using chemicals in cleaning the mold, the place is properly ventilated.
4. Extreme Temperatures
As part of working in different locations and places, there are times that plumbers will also need to endure working through extreme temperature conditions. There are times wherein the pipes that they are working with are extremely hot or frozen, or the temperature of the place itself is extremely hot or cold. These situations bring the risk of acquiring serious injuries.
5. Hearing Damage or Loss
Another danger of working as a plumber is that they work with equipment that produces loud sounds, which can lead to hearing loss. They work with buzzing electronic machines, noisy pipes, pounding mechanisms, and banging tools.
6. Skin Hazards
Another organ that can be at risk when plumbers are working is their skin. Because of working in places that can include hazardous chemicals or contaminated water, there is the danger of acquiring acne, burns, etc. To reduce the risk, they must always wear the right protective equipment.
7. Eye Risk
Working in places that have foreign matters and bacteria is part of a plumber’s job. Due to this, there is a risk that they can have eye injuries due to direct exposure to chemicals and bacteria that can affect their eyesight. But these injuries are preventable. By using safety glasses every time they do this work, the risk of exposure can be reduced and or prevented.
8. Burns and Electrocution
When working, two other risks that plumbers can encounter are getting burned and or electrocuted. Commonly, the utility connection pipes on homes are bundled together and are funneled or channeled in the same place. If not correctly tagged, the pipes that connect the house to gas, water, and electricity can be incorrectly identified. Working with these pipes, if a plumber made the wrong judgment and cut the wrong pipe, or accidentally come in contact with bare wires, there is a danger of being electrocuted. Moreover, if the plumber accidentally cut the pipes connected to the gas supplies, there is another extreme risk present, which is the risk of an explosion together with fire. To reduce the risk, plumbers should follow the correct procedures and wear the right protective equipment when working in places where situations like this can happen.
9. Injuries from Hand Tools
To do their job, plumbers need to use various tools. These tools also bring risks. Injuries caused by hand tools can include cuts, fractures, and broken bones. The chances of acquiring these injuries are even higher when the tools are defective; that is why plumbers must check their tools before using them.
10. Repetitive motion
In their work, plumbers tend to do the same thing over and over again. Due to this repetitive motion, there is a risk that plumbers will acquire types of muscles streess and injuries such as back injuries, which can affect muscles, discs and ligaments, muscle strains and sprains, and soft tissue damage on the neck, shoulder, and wrists. To reduce the risk of having this injury, the job site where plumbers works should be arranged in a way that was repetitively moving equipment and materials and doing pulling and pushing movements can be reduced.
11. Slippery Floors
In times that they are working with bare floors and water, there is also the risk of slipping and falling which can lead to injuries. To reduce the impact, other than using the right PPE, it will also be helpful if they are familiar with ways on how to fall safely.
12. Confined Spaces
Another situation that can incur fatal injuries to plumbers is working in confined spaces. Storage tanks, pipes, sewers, ducts, pits, and boilers can be a challenge for their breathing because the oxygen level is not average.
13. Rodents and Contaminated Water
When doing their job, plumbers may need to climb into ceilings and crawl under floors and other tight spaces. While doing these things, they may encounter rodents and contaminated water, which can cause diseases such as Campylobacter, E. Coli, etc. if they were exposed. To lessen the risk and prevent it from happening, they should always wear face masks, gloves, and other protective gear and clothing.
Another danger when working as a plumber is stress. Managing a business, trying to meet unrealistic deadlines, and working on extremely long hours can cause anxiety. Stress can lead to fatigue and different health problems. When working, we must not take our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It is vital that we properly manage our time and priorities, and that we get some rest.
As people who choose plumbing as work, plumbers have to accomplish their jobs even with all the risks and hazards. By doing their job, people can live their lives conveniently and without the extreme risk of being exposed to dangerous situations and chemicals. But in doing their work, it is also essential that plumbers take into consideration their well-being. They must familiarize themselves with all the risks presented and follow the proper safety protocol. Being familiar with the safety hazards in their work will not wholly prevent accidents and injuries, but doing so will lessen the chances of these risks from happening.