Top Health and Safety Tips for Plumbers

Water damage can be an expensive business, whether your organisation’s work causes a leak or water damage, or your employee has an accident at work. By following our top health and safety tips you can ensure your organisation works safely and avoids fines and legal action from disgruntled clients.

In this article, we outline what you need to be aware of to work safely, including safety practices, necessary training and qualifications and the regulations that you will need to be aware of and follow.

Safety hazards for plumbers

Plumbers face various safety hazards throughout their day-to-day jobs, including exposure to chemicals and dangerous materials, as well as injury caused during manual handling of tools and equipment.

Injury from damaged equipment or improper usage

Using equipment which doesn’t work as it should, plumbers risk injury. Before beginning any job it’s vital that you check your tools are in proper working condition.

  • Perform a visual check to determine your tools are in good working condition
  • Store your equipment in a safe and secure place to ensure they cannot be damaged
  • Make sure cutting equipment is sharp and always cut away from your face and body

Injury from poor manual handling techniques

Manual handling injuries can lead to time off work and even legal action in some cases, if you as an employer are found negligent. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees are correctly trained in the safe use of equipment.

Our top tips include:

  • Ensure your employees have attended manual handling training courses

Keep tools in proper working condition and wear appropriate protection

Injury from chemical hazards

Whether from the biohazards of human waste, exposure to asbestos or contact with flammable and combustible materials, there are plenty of biological and chemical hazards associated with plumbing.

  • Wear appropriate protective clothing when coming into contact with human waste, mould and asbestos
  • Use appropriate protection when working with pipes, turn off gas and ensure there are no leaks before beginning work

Risk of injury working in confined spaces

Confined spaces such as air ducts are often in the working environment for plumbers, so it’s important to follow safety precautions when working in these environments.

Gases, airborne hazards and water can pose risks.

  • Never enter a confined space without following the correct safety checks and having the sufficient training to be able to identify risks
  • Ensure these elements are switched off before beginning work

Injury from electrical hazards

Metal pipes can conduct electricity, as electricity can be earthed through pipes. There are various precautionary steps which can be taken to minimise the risks posed by electricity.

  • Wear insulated gloves when touching metal pipes
  • Check voltage levels with a voltage monitor, bridging conductors and a volt tester prior to commencing work
  • Inspect gloves for damage or tears before each job and replace annually
  • Ensure bridging conductors are tested regularly, with appropriate verification tags
  • If you observe signs of electricity, ask an electrician to inspect and turn off the source

Get in touch for health, safety and environmental compliance guidance and training

Whatever level of compliance guidance or training your team may need, we’d be more than happy to help. Please contact us today to discuss your requirements.

We have a variety of health, safety and environmental compliance services to suit the needs of plumbing businesses. From compliance support to audits and the ability to draft complete health and safety plans, we can guide you to meeting your health and safety obligations.

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