Heating and plumbing is a tough trade, and installers can be at risk of putting themselves in harm’s way to get the job done, with almost 75% having suffered work-related injuries. Steve Owen, Baxi National Training Manager, outlines his failsafe tips for covering the basics and keeping you and your customer safe.
Ever since Baxi opened its doors 150 years ago, health and safety has been central to our operations. Having trained thousands of installers, we’ve helped them to understand the necessary guidelines while constantly innovating to ensure they are as safe as possible. With this in mind, we’ve put together a brief guide on how to stay safe on the job.
You should only begin work once you have assessed the environment and are certain it’s safe. Risks could be anything from an angry dog in a customer’s home to clutter making it difficult to get to the boiler.
Many customers still have an expansion tank in their loft and this area can be especially dangerous, particularly if floorboards are unstable. It’s important to prepare for every eventuality when installing boilers in lofts, such as: loose boarding, electrical isolation, adequate lighting and unprotected loft hatches, which present significant risks if safety measures are not implemented.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register now focus on promoting both electrical and gas safety to gas engineers. There’s a clear need for installers to know about electrical safety due to the electric-dependent products they work with. You should always carry out checks on an appliance before starting work, such as safe isolation and proving dead, and staying safe means being aware of the hazards.
Government legislation and HSE guidelines state that installers must be careful when working with ladders. According to regulations, you are not allowed to work off of the top three rungs of a ladder, and must keep two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder at all times.
Although there aren’t regulations in place for every possible danger, we’ve come a long way, and the industry continues to improve when it comes to safety standards. At Baxi, we issue all of our engineers with specialised ‘bump caps’, which they can wear when their risk assessment deems it necessary – for instance, when working in lofts or other tight spaces where they may hit their heads.
In the grand scheme of things, training is vital to ensure that correct procedures are followed, as it ensures you keep health and safety at front of mind and are up-to-date with the constantly changing world of government legislation.
Through Baxi’s training courses, we cover all aspects of health and safety via a practical, hands-on approach. Ultimately our goal is to help educate installers of all levels on how best to stay safe on the job, even if it means going back to the basics.
For more information on Baxi training, please visit the Baxi website.