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Module 4: Basic Tool Safety and Working Environment

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Lesson Summary
• Tools are used every day on a job site. Improper handling and usage of tools can pose serious safety risks.

In order to reduce tool-related injuries, it is important that plumbers know the safe use guidelines for both hand and power tools.

Besides this, regularly inspecting the tools and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment can reduce the chances of getting injured.

• Plumbers may also be required to work in confined spaces and trenches. Working in these limited spaces comes with its own set of challenges.

• When it comes to working in trenches, a plumber faces the risks of cave-ins, flooding, and electrical shocks. Knowing how to make the trench safe as well as to identify an unsafe trench are important aspects of the job.

• Shoring, shielding and sloping are the three ways to make trenches safe. On the other hand, indications of an unstable trench include tension cracks and boiling.

• Working underground safely heavily relies on provision of access shafts, air ventilation, proper illumination, and communication equipment.

• Powered equipment can be made safe by installing lockout / tagout devices. These devices protect workers from all possible sources of energy by preventing accidental start-ups and release of stored energy.

• Knowing how to handle emergencies is a vital skill for workers in this field.