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Most people don’t consider plumbing to be a dangerous occupation and upon first glance, you might wonder if there are any dangers involved. Plumbers, like other contractors, work in the same vicinity as other systems like your electric system or your air conditioning system. There are many different aspects to your plumbing system and each of these aspects has a certain level of risk involved. Some of the dangers might occur on the job and others might be caused by working in uncomfortable areas. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Dalworthington, TX knows how dangerous plumbing repairs can be that is why they ensure that their plumbers are practicing the correct safety precautions and wearing protective gear. Here are some of the dangers that plumbers face when working on your plumbing system.
Temperature related injuries
The water within our plumbing system can range from freezing cold to scorching hot. The hot water pipes can be extremely hot and if they are touched without wearing protection then serious burn injuries can follow. If the hot water line is leaking then the area might be covered with hot water which can also be dangerous. Plumbers are trained to identify which pipes are hot water lines and which ones are cold water lines so that they don’t burn themselves. Sometimes the temperature valve is faulty which inhibits the water heater from heating the water to the correct temperature. This means the water will be too cold or too hot. In the case where it is too hot, the water heater might burst and cause serious damages. In some climates, the winter can be very cold which causes pipes to freeze. If these pipes are not handled properly then your fingers can get stuck to the pipes and it can be painful to dislodge your fingers. Professional protective gloves will prevent their fingers from getting stuck and they know which methods are appropriate to use when defrosting the pipes so that they don’t damage the pipes.
Working in high places
When we think of a plumbing system, we think that most of the pipes are in the group or in the walls. This is true for some single-story homes but in apartments or office buildings, the pipes can be situated fair off the ground. A ladder can be used to access pipes that are not too high up but if the repairs are going to take a while then it might be better to use a different form of suspension. Plumbers need the correct safety gear like certified harnesses and secure attachment points. Fixed scaffolding might be required especially if it is a large installation or repair. These professionals are not resistant to falling even if they are securely fastened and even a simple slip can cause minor or major injuries. Plumbing companies have insurance that covers their workers in the event of an accident. It is recommended to leave the plumbing problems that are off the ground to the professionals to avoid personal injury and in some extreme cases death.
The plumbing system is not the only system that can pose a risk to plumbers in Dalworthington, TX. If there is a gas leak or damages to the gas line that the plumber isn’t aware then it can be a serious health hazard. Plumbing service providers have access to gas masks that will protect them from the poisonous natural gas while they are conducting repairs. There is also a risk of a gas explosion happening while the plumber is working with or close to the gas line. They know what precautions to take to minimize the risk of an explosion. Natural gas is not the only gas that can negatively affect plumbing service providers. The gas from the sewer is very smelly but it is also toxic and prolonged exposure can kill you. The gas from sewers contains methane and carbon dioxide which is detrimental to your health. The sewer gas can escape from a faulty floor drain or a leak within your home. These gases are also highly flammable so even the smallest spark can cause a fire that will cause extensive amounts of damage to your home. If you smell anything out of the ordinary then contact a professional as soon as possible. It is best to hire a professional to carry out these repairs so that you do not risk your own health and the safety of your home.
Plumbing service providers also work in the same area as the electrical system in your home. Water is a conductor which means that electricity can flow through the water with ease. It is very dangerous to work with electricity in an area that is wet or has large amounts of water close by. Some plumbing components need electricity to function and some plumbers are trained to install these components and connect them to the wiring within your home. Plumbers are always in danger of being electrocuted when they work with your plumbing system and there is faulty wiring or exposed wires. As a homeowner, you can protect the service provider by switching off the power at the circuit breakers while the plumber is conducting repairs or installation to decrease the risk of electrocution.
Injuries from equipment
Plumbers can sustain injuries from the tools they use or the equipment that they install. Toilets, water heaters, and water softeners are heavy and should not be carried by one person. Professionals will carry these components with their colleagues. If they do not pick up the heavy equipment correctly and put it down safely then they can pull a muscle or in some cases break a bone. Plumbing service providers have the tools and skills that are required to move large objects into and out of your home. They can also damage the mechanism that they are carrying which can be a costly mistake. In recent years the tools that plumbing service providers use have become more powerful. Professionals are trained on how to use these tools without injuring themselves but injuries can still happen especially if the hand tool is defective. They know what should be done in the event of an injury. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Dalworthington, TX has made sure that all their plumbers are educated on which safety procedures to follow to avoid injury or how to address the wound if an injury does occur.
Black mold is not as dangerous as some people believe. If you are a healthy person then you are unlikely to be affected by black mold. If you have a compromised immune system or a lung disease then black mold can make you very sick. Some people also have mold sensitivities or allergies. It can be difficult for plumbers to spot mold especially in a dimly lit area and they might have to spend a few hours in that area while they are conducting repairs or carrying out maintenance. If the service provider is healthy then this shouldn’t be a cause for concern but if the professional is vulnerable to mold then they can become very ill.
Injuries that occur over time
Plumbing services are physically demanding and plumbers might not sustain injuries on the job but after doing intensive labor for a few years or even a few months, the body will start to show signs of stress. To avoid these injuries plumbing service providers should be given enough time off to recover from the stress that the job puts on their bodies and they should take turns to do repetitive tasks so that they are less likely to sustain injuries. Here are some common problems that plumbers can encounter after being exposed to dangerous situations for a long time.
- Confined Spaces
Plumbing service providers often have to crawl around in confined spaces such as boilers, storage tanks, sewers, pipes, ducts, and pits to carry out repairs or to do the installation. These confined spaces might not have enough oxygen and service providers can develop breathing problems or health problems related to a lack of oxygen. They can also get stuck in these confined spaces which can be very stressful and they might sustain injuries from being stuck in an uncomfortable position for too long. Sometimes things might go wrong and these confined spaces can collapse which can cause major injuries or even death.
- Repetitive Movement
Plumbing repairs can be mundane and sometimes the workers will carry out the same task over and over again. This can cause injuries such as soft tissue damage to the shoulders, neck, and wrists especially if the professional needs to unscrew and tighten nuts and bolts. Plumbing service providers are also prone to back injuries that affect ligaments, muscles, and disks. This is caused by plumber hunching over to fit into tight spaces or carrying heavy equipment. If the professional has had a lot of difficult and intense jobs for a short period of time without adequate rest then they can sprain their joints. These injuries can be difficult to detect especially if it is in the early stages of the injuries.
- Hearing Loss
Plumbing systems are silent when they are functioning correctly and hidden behind walls, ceilings, and floors. Unfortunately, plumbing service providers seldom deal with quiet plumbing systems. Loud tools, noisy pipes, and heavy machinery can affect your hearing if you are exposed to it for long periods of time. It will affect how effective you are at your job because you will be unable to listen for concerning sounds or you will not be able to hear what your colleagues are saying. This can also affect customer satisfaction because you might hear a request that a client has made. Professionals should wear earplugs to minimize the trauma that damages your hearing.
- Eye Injuries
Plumbing service providers come into contact with pips straying water or debris shooting up when certain drain cleaning methods are applied. These particles can make their way into the worker’s eyes if they are not wearing safety glasses which can cause mild irritation or a serious injury. Bacteria can also make its way into the eyes and in some serve cases cause blindness. Your eyesight can also be negatively affected by spending too much time in a dark area within an adequate light source. This causes your eyes to string and might cause some painful headaches
Prevention is better than cure and it is up to plumbing companies to take off their employees and provide them with the necessary safety equipment so that the risk of them getting injured on the job is minimised. They should also have workers compensation insurance to make sure that the workers are taken care off when they sustain an injury and cannot work while they are recovering .
It is apparent that plumbing service providers put themselves in harm’s way to repair, install and maintain your plumbing system. Plumbers have to deal with a variety of dangerous situations but luckily they have been trained to handle these situations effectively without injuring themselves or damaging other areas of your home. This is also one of the main reasons why you should not attempt plumbing repairs by yourself because you can sustain serious injuries. As a homeowner you can help the professionals by informing them of anything that might be hazardous to their health and safety. You can also remove objects that might get in the way and cause injury. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Dalworthington, TX provides a wide range of plumbing services that will meet all your needs. Their plumbers have protective gear and they have the knowledge to deal with unexpected dangerous situations so that you don’t have to. If you require any assistance with your plumbing system, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing to schedule your appointment today.