Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is designed to protect you from injury. Many plumbers are injured on the job because they are not using protection equipment.
All the potentially dangerous conditions on a job site are not immediately discernible. Before doing any job, it is wise to stop and consider what type of accidents could happen.
Using PPE will greatly reduce the chance of getting hurt.
The best PPE is of no use unless you do four things. Click on the following buttons to find out more:
Inspect it regularly, and replace any PPE that is damaged or worn.
Take good care of the protection equipment.
Use it properly when it is needed.
Avoid altering or modifying it in any way.
As a plumber, you will most commonly use the following types of PPE:
• Hard hats
• Eye and face protection
• Safety shoes
• Hearing protection
• Fall protection
• Respiratory protection
• Proper clothing
The outer shell of the hat protects your head during a fall or from a flying object. The webbing inside the hat maintains a space between the shell and your head.
When wearing a hard hat, adjust the headband, not the hard hat, so that the webbing fits your head and there is at least 1 inch of space between your head and the shell.
Safety Glasses, Goggles, Face Shields
Wear eye protection even if there is the slightest chance of an eye injury.
Areas where there are potential eye hazards from falling or flying objects are usually identified, but you should always be on the lookout for other possible hazards, such as sewage and pressurized water.
Safety Glasses, Goggles, Face Shields
There are different types of eye protection. Click on each type of safety glass mentioned below to know more:
Safety goggles give your eyes the best protection from all directions.
Regular Safety Glasses
Regular safety glasses will protect you from objects flying at you from the front, such as large chips, particles, sand, or dust. (Side shields can be added for further protection.)
Goggles with Tinted Lenses
If welding is part of your job, use safety goggles with tinted lenses or a welding hood. Tinted lenses protect your eyes from the bright welding arc or flame.
On many jobs, wearing heavy-duty gloves to protect your hands from cuts, chemical burns, or exposure to raw sewage is necessary.
Work gloves are usually made of cloth, canvas, or leather, but they may also be made of metal mesh or a material called Kevlar®, which protects against metal cuts.
Never wear cloth gloves around rotating or moving equipment.
• To protect your feet from falling objects and punctures, wear steel-toed, steel-soled safety shoes. The steel toe protects your toes from falling objects, and the steel sole keeps nails and other sharp objects from puncturing your foot.
Wear this type of safety shoe when using tamping equipment or jackhammers.
• If electrical hazards are present, wear metal-free shoes or boots.
• Welding jobs call for boots or other sturdy shoes without laces or eyelets to prevent hot metal or sparks from becoming trapped in the shoes. Don’t wear oil-soaked shoes if you are welding. Doing so increases the risk of fire.
• When working on wet or icy surfaces, wear rubber boots or shoes with skid-resistant soles.
Damage to most parts of the body cause pain. Ear damage, however, does not always cause pain. Exposure to loud noise over a long period can cause hearing loss, even if the noise is not loud enough to cause pain.
Specially designed earplugs that fit into ears and filter out noise are one type of hearing protection. Ear muffs -- large, padded covers for the entire ear -- are another type of hearing protection aids.
Failure to use appropriate fall protection when working on elevations can lead to serious injuries.
Wearing personal fall protection equipment can help to prevent these accidents. This equipment usually includes a safety harness and lanyard.
Click on each term to know more:
The safety harness is an extra-heavy-duty harness that fits over your body. The harness includes leg, shoulder, chest, and pelvic straps.
The lanyard is a length of strong rope with reinforced ends and a D-ring snapped onto them. One D-ring attaches to the safety harness; the other is attached to an anchor point above the work area.
Fall protection includes covers or guardrail systems that prevent a fall from any surface that is 6 feet or higher above a lower surface, or into a hole or excavation that is 6 feet deep or more.
Covers for holes also provide protection from objects that may fall from above the work area.