The World Plumbing Conference 2019 was recently held in Melbourne, and this year’s event took on the theme: The Four Pillars Of Plumbing. These four pillars consist of Participation, Practices, Products, and Protection. In light of Protection, we decided to jump back to the basics and put together a list of the top 10 safety tips every plumber must know. Whether it’s on site or in business, ensure you’re always prioritising your own safety and the safety of others.
#10 Power & Gas
Electricity, combustibles and water don’t play well together. Always ensure the power and gas is off before starting a job, as necessary. If you smell gas – find the source immediately or call in someone who can do it for you. That’s not a party you want to be invited to.
#9 Right Tools For The Trade
You don’t need a warehouse full of tools, but ensuring that you have (and use) the right ones can make work faster, easier and more efficient. Make sure that your tools are in good condition, faulty tools can lead to faulty jobs or injury.
#8 Protect Your Ears
Avoid developing tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) and hearing loss by using ear plugs or defenders when working on noisy sites or with loud power tools. It’s a small step to take to ensure that over time your ears stay in mint condition.
#7 Protect Your Eyes
Goggles. Goggles. Goggles. Protect your eyes from dust, shards and chemicals by always using goggles. We’d recommend you look for ones that don’t fog up. Also make sure to avoid poor lighting when working in dark spaces by taking along a reliable light source.
#6 Protect Your Lungs
As gloves protect your hands from injuries, so too much we protect our lungs. mold and fume inhalation are serious dangers, and thankfully easily avoidable by simply wearing a mask. Consider the environment you’ll be working in and take the necessary steps to protect yourself, and specifically in this point, your lungs.
#5 Protect Your Feet
What good is a tradesman who cannot get around? Look after your treasured toes by investing in work shoes with steel toe caps and slip resistant soles. You’ll be wearing them everyday so it’s worth investing in a durable pair.
As mentioned in #6, mold inhalation is a serious danger. Not just causing long term effects on your lungs, mold can also cause rashes, sneezing and red eyes. Ensure you’re protected by having a trusty pair of gloves and masks in your tool box.
#3 Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Coming in at #3 on our top 10 safety tips every plumber must know is preparation before a job. From examining the site, checking appropriate building and plumbing codes, understanding the client’s needs and expectations, and assessing any potential problems beforehand, preparing for the job is one of the most important steps.
#2 Ensure You’re Insured
We’ll say it again: ensure that you’re insured. Some things are unavoidable, and it’s in you and your business’ best interests to protect yourself if anything disastrous were to go wrong.
#1 Get The Right Credentials
Ensure that you are certified and registered with the PIRB. In compliance with SANS, plumbers need to submit CoCs. Being registered with the PIRB not only gives you an immediate industry stamp of approval, but also acts as a medium for obtaining and auditing CoCs. CoCs can be tracked and work in your favour should a problem occur following a job.
That concludes our top 10 safety tips every plumber must know. We’d also recommend keeping a list of trusted emergency numbers on you should you find yourself in a sudden pickle – be it an electrician or an ambulance. And remember, protecting yourself with the correct workwear, common sense and hydration may seem trivial but they could save you a whole lot of time and money in the long run.