Worksite Safety for the Trades
The most important consideration of any worksite is safety. In addition to Covid-19 safety measures, there are standard safety precautions that every worker should follow.
- Never start work on a site without a legally required induction to familiarize you with the site.
- Never put yourself or anyone else at risk.
- Always follow established procedures and safety signs. Always wear your PPE.
- Check to make certain your work area has the proper safety features in place such as guard tails and necessary supports.
- Only use the proper equipment for the job at hand. Don’t try to fix site equipment without authorization.
- Keep your area neat to avoid accidents.
- Report any hazards or close calls to supervisors immediately.
- If you have a question, ask.
In addition to these general rules, there are trade specific safety considerations professionals should keep in mind.
Plumbers often work in either high locations or confined spaces. Each scenario comes with certain risks. Safety harnesses, cherry pickers, and installed scaffolding reduce the risk of falls and subsequent injury. If a ladder must be used, follow all safety measures to avoid injuries both to workers on the ladder as well as below it. Caution should be used when working in confined spaces as the oxygen levels may be insufficient.
Plumbers are at risk for eye injuries, asbestos and mold exposure, and hearing loss. Appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn at all times.
Like plumbing professionals, pipefitters must observe ladder, scaffolding, and safety harness procedures to avoid falls.
In addition to risking burns and eye injuries from welding torches, pipefitters also face exposure to hazardous materials such as oxidizers, refrigerants and flammable substances which can cause damage to the respiratory tract as well as the eyes. Eyes and skin may also be injured by metal particles released by the pipefitter’s hammer. These tradespeople should always wear full protective equipment as well as gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and pants.
Again, if ladders rather than scaffolding must be used, observe all safety rules, particularly when working in extreme weather. According to the CDC, over 80% of ER visits for fall injuries involve ladders.
HVAC professionals face potential harm from electrical hazards. Exposure to hazardous chemicals can cause burns or respiratory tract injury, while mold exposure poses a serious health risk. Strict adherence to PPE protocols is necessary to avoid injury. Steel-toed work boots, thick HVAC work gloves, and earplugs are recommended in addition to standard PPE.
HVAC techs often transport pressurized gas cylinders which can become dangerous in extreme heat. Professionals need to be aware of safe methods for handling and storing these cylinders.
Sprinkler Fitter Safety
Sprinkler fitters face many of the same issues as pipefitters and plumbers. These professionals must always use safety equipment designed to guard against falls, and don reco mended PPE to avoid burns from welding torches and hazardous chemicals.