By Todd Bush, Resource Manager
Off to the next plumber job! From working in attics to repairing sewer lines to installing basement plumbing, you have a job to do and you need to make sure you do it safely. Every project you work on includes different risks and hazards for which you need to be prepared. Keep in mind that commitment to construction safety does not fall exclusively on your employer or on your supervisor. It is also your responsibility to stay away from dangers when you are performing a task. Below, we provide some hints on how to do plumbing safely on the jobsite.
Set the Stage
A common mistake to avoid when it comes to a plumber job is being uninformed about what you are going to deal with. You might have lots of experience and many projects under your tool belt, but the reality is that every task is different and it requires a careful approach. Have you looked up the appropriate building and plumbing codes to make sure you are going to do things the right way – especially if you have been idle for a while? Are you going to work in an area with hazardous materials? Does the job require revisiting construction safety rules and getting up-to-speed with OSHA regulations? Remember that plumbing safely on the jobsite starts with proper preparation and planning.
Protect Yourself and Be Well Equipped
As said before, you are going to find yourself working in different work environments and around different materials so it is important to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and have with you the right tools. You are going to cut, contact chemicals and work in wet places, so you need to protect yourself form getting hurt. Protective eyewear and gloves, hearing protection, slip-resistant footwear, masks and hard hats must always be handy in order to do plumbing safely on the jobsite. In addition, never start working on a task before making sure that you have the appropriate equipment and do not use tools that are not in a good working condition.
Plumbing safely on the jobsite means following rules. Do not forget that safety procedures and best practices have been established to reinforce construction safety. Ignoring them increases the risk of getting hurt and endangers the welfare of everyone on the worksite. Get the necessary training to familiarize with safety codes and follow the required work practices when working with specific substances – such as mold, asbestos or lead. No matter how confident you feel about a plumber job, keep in mind that cutting corners is one the reasons why accidents take place and tradespeople get injured. Stick to the rules.
Ask if You Are Not Sure
You achieve construction safety by asking for it. Chances are that during a plumber job you might have doubts on what the right course of action is. There is nothing wrong with that. Seek the advice of a senior plumber or of a fellow plumber and refrain from taking risks. It is always better to ask for help than putting yourself and your workmates in a dangerous and harming situation. Remember that plumbing safely on the jobsite is your ultimate goal so eliminate hazards and mistakes by asking for a second opinion. If you are the only expert working on the site, take a step back and try to get answers before moving forward with the project.
Know Your Way Out
Things might go wrong. The best thing you can do is being ready. Do you know what you are supposed to do in case of an emergency? Who are you supposed to call and do you have their contact information handy? Is there a safety process to follow and are you are familiar with it? Keep in mind that plumbing safely on the jobsite is also about knowing the safe way out of a dangerous situation. Be sure to check instructions and warning labels of the equipment you use in order to know what to do in a case of a malfunction. If you work with other plumbers, make sure that they are familiar with plan B since construction safety is a collective effort.
Key Takeaways for Plumbing the Safe Way:
- Be aware of building and plumbing codes in order to do things the right way
- Don’t walk on the jobsite without the necessary PPE and proper tools
- Always follow safety procedures and make sure you have the proper training
- Don’t hesitate to ask for advice in case you have doubts on how to proceed
- Be prepared to deal with emergencies in case they take place
Founded in 1993, TradeSource is a construction labor solutions firm focused on delivering labor solutions to contractors throughout the United States. By supplying skilled tradespeople – where and when they’re needed – we help contractors grow their companies, without the associated costs and hassles of full-time hires. Likewise, we match qualified employees with rewarding and well-paying job opportunities in the construction industry. www.tradesource.com