Plumbers must be qualified to work in this field. They face many different challenges every day, some of which may potentially lead to them suffering injuries if proper care isn’t taken to avoid them. The nature of the work they do means they could find themselves in lots of different locations and situations from one day to the next. This means they could potentially be exposed to various risks that could lead to injuries occurring.
There are lots of potential accidents that could occur. We have listed a few of them below, but this list does not cover every possible incident that may happen:
- Manual handling injuries
- Working in confined or awkward spaces, leading to various injuries to the musculoskeletal system
- Slips, trips and falls
- Inhalation of biohazardous materials and gases
- Developing injuries through repetitive motions working with tools
The Health and Safety Executive has released statistics confirming that 23% of workers in the construction industry (which includes plumbers among the many roles taken on in this sector) suffered injuries relating to slips, trips and falls in the average year. A further 22% suffer from lifting and handling injuries.
Additionally, in a four-year period from 2011/12 and 2014/15, around 45,000 construction workers were suffering from musculoskeletal disorders. As we learned previously, this condition is a potential hazard for plumbers, given the tight spaces they sometimes need to work in. The statistics confirm nearly a third of these cases are new injuries.
Manual handling safety for plumbers
With tools, equipment and supplies to fetch and carry, it’s perhaps not surprising that manual handling injuries are among those that plumbers occasionally suffer from. If a plumber is working for an employer, the employer has a duty of care to provide proper training in every respect. This includes manual handling training. With around 909,000 working days lost to manual handling injuries across all industries in 2013/14 alone, you can see how vital it is these injuries are prevented wherever possible. This is without considering the pain and discomfort caused to plumbers and other workers when suffering from this type of injury – an injury that has the potential to flare up again in the future, too.
Additionally, our list above mentions the hazards associated with working in confined, tight and awkward spaces. Plumbers tend to find themselves in these situations quite often because of the work they do. Recent health and safety statistics confirm the estimated cost of injuries and illnesses caused by current working conditions in 2014/15 was £14.1 billion. Knowing how to work in smaller spaces without risking injury can prevent many troublesome conditions that might affect plumbers.
Plumbers and other construction workers are in one of the riskiest professions
Construction work in general is noted to be one of the more potentially-dangerous professions around today. This and two other industries are noted to have the highest incidence of fatal injuries.
However, many plumbers are attracted to the industry because of the potential salary it can offer. This can be up to £40,000 on average each year at the upper end of the scale. Many plumbers are self-employed, and that means there could be a greater chance of earning more money by finding your own clients and work. Others work on behalf of a business or construction company.
What should you do if you’ve been injured while working as a plumber?
Of course, the priority should always be to get medical assistance to determine how bad your injuries are. This could depend on the nature of the accident you have had. For example, since plumbers must sometimes work at height, depending on the job they are doing, you may have had a serious fall. Conversely, you could have sprained your wrist while tackling a job in a confined space, or carrying equipment in an incorrect manner because you never received manual handling training from your employer.
As such, it is imperative to get advice on what happened. In some instances, plumbers find someone else was negligent and the negligence led to the circumstances in which their accident or illness occurred. Illnesses may occur if you breathe in contaminated air or fumes that are dangerous to humans. A risk assessment should always be done prior to any work you complete, and if you work for someone else, your employer has the duty to complete this assessment before you begin.
How much could you claim?
The amount of compensation plumbers could be awarded following an accident or illness suffered while working in this profession can vary hugely. We can usually give you a rough idea of what you might be able to secure in compensation, based on our extensive experience in handling similar claims in the past. But it is only when a claim is concluded successfully that you will know how much could be awarded to you. We’re always happy to provide advice without any obligation, however, and it is available now when you give our experienced team of advisors a ring. We’ve also got an online test you can try.
Find out more now
If you wish to learn more, and you have been in an accident within the past three years, or you have been made ill through your work as a plumber, you can always call Accident Advice Helpline. The sooner you do, the faster you will find the crucial answers to the questions we know you’re certain to have. Call now on 0800 689 0500 free of charge, or ring 0333 500 0993 if you have a mobile phone. Our solicitors handle all claims on a no-win, no-fee* basis. We’ve concluded many claims brought by plumbers for injuries that were not their fault, and secured an amount in compensation at the end of the process. Being injured at work can jeopardise your whole career in plumbing, and if you will lose money through being off sick through no fault of your own, it can be a worrying time in more ways than one. See if we can help set things right today.