Assembling and installing the pipes used in heating, cooling, steam, hot water, and lubrication and processing systems is a hazardous job. The same is true for assembling the materials, threading and hammering the pipes, altering the pipe sizes, and securing the pipes to tanks and walls.
Many of these hazards were mentioned in a previous blog post. The post pointed out that these hazards put pipe fitters at risk for work-related injuries and illnesses. This is why you need to be extremely careful while on the job.
Pay attention to these pipe fitter hazards to maintain safety.
The power saws used to alter the size of the pipes can lead to cuts, wounds, nerve damage, or digit or limb amputation. Also, the sparks from the welding torch can burn your skin or injure your eyes. Plus, the machines used can cause eye injuries, cuts, entanglement, crush injuries, or severed limbs. Be extremely careful when using this equipment.
Exposure to Hazardous Materials
Any use of flammable products increases your risk of exposure to fire, burns, or smoke inhalation. Also, inhaling any chemical fumes can damage your respiratory tract. Additionally, splashing hazardous chemicals can burn your skin or injure your eyes. Always wear personal protective equipment, such as a mask, gloves, or safety goggles, to shield yourself from contact with these hazards.
The metal fragments that may break away from the pipes being hammered can pierce your skin or enter your eyes. Always wear safety goggles with side shields to protect against these particles. Also, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and gloves to protect your skin from cuts and puncture wounds.
Carrying heavy loads can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. They may involve bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, or other soft tissues. Always use proper lifting techniques to reduce your risk of these injuries. For instance, assess each load to ensure it’s safe to lift. Ask for help or use mechanical lifting equipment if the load appears too heavy to lift independently. Also, lift with your leg muscles rather than your back muscles. Additionally, keep the load close to your body as you move.
Installing pipe systems at heights increases the risk of falling from a ladder or building surface. Always place the ladder on a firm surface and secure the top and bottom. Also, use a harness, webbing, or other components of a fall arrest system to protect yourself when you’re at least 6 feet from the ground. The system decreases the speed at which you fall, reducing your risk of impact injuries.
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