Being an effective plumber requires proper training, the right equipment, and a good amount of knowledge about your trade. However, what many plumbers don’t understand is that to be safe and most efficient at their job, they also need to pay attention to jobsite safety tips. Here are some of the most important safety tips every plumber should know and follow every day at work.
Wear the Right Footwear
When working on residential plumbing jobs, make sure you wear steel-toed shoes. These will protect your feet from cuts, punctures and falls. Don’t carry heavy tool boxes with only one hand; use both hands to carry heavy tools instead. When working at heights, always wear a safety harness and lifeline that protects you in case of a fall.
Never climb onto rooftops without using safety equipment like a harness and fall protection system in place first. Make sure to keep all flammable materials away from open flames or sparks. And lastly, when working around water and gas lines, always turn off the water supply before beginning work so that you don’t accidentally cause a leak or burst pipe while performing repairs.
Use the Right Tools
An important aspect of jobsite safety is making sure that you have the right tools on hand. It’s easy to grab a ladder and get up on a roof or high place, but if you don’t have proper support and stability, you can fall to your death. Plumbing projects often require specialized tools that aren’t always readily available, but they are crucial in order to keep yourself safe while working. If you’re not familiar with how to use these tools, find someone who is, before using them on a job site. You may also want to consider getting an extra set of hands around when using more complicated equipment like ladders or scaffolding.
Wear the Right Clothes
While it might seem like a simple idea, wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) can make or break your day. While on-site, be sure to wear sturdy work boots and pants that are tightly fitted with steel-toed shoes. Also, try not to wear loose-fitting or baggy clothing that could get caught in machinery. Wearing appropriate PPE will keep you safe and help prevent injuries at work sites.
Additionally, be sure to follow all site safety rules as well as local regulations when working. Some jurisdictions require plumbers to wear hard hats, for example. Others may have specific policies about wearing ear protection while operating power tools or using noisy equipment such as grinders and nail guns. Local building codes may also require certain types of gloves while working with chemicals used in construction projects.
Utilize Proper Lighting
If you’re working in a basement, work under strong lighting to avoid tripping over tools or objects on your way to turning off a water valve. If it’s dark outside, use light safety lines while climbing ladders and taking other risks that can lead to falls. Also wear gloves with good grip when handling plumbing fixtures and fittings, so they don’t slip out of your hands. This will help prevent cuts from sharp edges and keep skin intact if you do happen to fall into wet areas of a home.
Follow CanOSH Standards
Contamination can come from many sources: sewage lines, septic tanks, contaminated storm runoff and so on. When working in these areas, always wear protective clothing and equipment.
If you’re a plumber or work in construction, safety is paramount to your success as a professional. While CanOSH standards are only guidelines and not laws, they should be followed closely at all times.
Complete & Follow Mandatory Education
Depending on the state different requirements are enforced. For example, in Massachusetts you need to complete mandatory 12 hours of plumbing continuing education every 2 years. Making sure to pay attention to these code updates and training is crucial to safety on the job.