Pipefitters in Minnesota perform important work installing pipes used by individuals and businesses. While the work performed by pipefitters helps to support the critical infrastructure of the state, they also face numerous hazards while they are working on the job. Because of these dangers, employers should take steps to reduce the risk of injuries to pipefitters in workplace accidents.
Dangers faced by pipefitters at work
Pipefitters use welding torches and power saws to resize pipes. They face a risk of suffering serious lacerations, amputations, burns, and other injuries when these tools are used unsafely or when they malfunction. Pipefitters also work around hazardous substances, including asbestos when they perform work in buildings that contain this substance, lead, ultraviolet light, adhesives, solvents, fumes, and other toxic substances. They might also suffer musculoskeletal injuries from carrying heavy objects or repetitive stress injuries from using power tools in repetitive motions. Finally, pipefitters who work at height face a risk of suffering serious injuries or death from falls.
Reducing the risks faced by pipefitters
Employers must comply with the regulations promulgated and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to reduce the risks to their employees. They should ensure that all of their pipefitters have proper safety gear, protective eyewear and clothing, and respirators when they are working around hazardous materials. Employers should also make sure that their employees undergo health and safety training and always wear the proper safety equipment while working. For workers that will work at height, employers should have fall protection in place to minimize injuries if they fall. When workers are injured at work, they may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
These benefits might pay for all of a worker’s health care expenses related to his or her occupational illness or workplace injury. If the worker is left with a temporary or permanent disability, he or she might also be entitled to receive disability payments to replace a percentage of his or her income until he or she can return to work.