Plumbers are employed in several industries, including construction of residential homes, commercial and public buildings and even may work in factories. Plumbing refers to the installing and repair of pipes and fixtures for water and sewer systems and is similar to other pipe trades such as pipe fitters and steamfitters. There were over 400,000 workers in the pipe trades in 2010, mostly working in the plumbing, heating and air-conditioning industries.
Risks For Plumbers
Plumbers mostly work both in new construction of buildings and homes and in the repair and maintenance of plumbing fixtures. Any trade that works in the construction industry usually has a higher than average work injury rate due to the risks involved on construction sites. Plumbing is no different and has a higher injury rate than the average worker.
Any plumber working in new construction will be exposed to the same risks as other construction workers. The top construction accident fatality risks are from: falls, struck by object, electrocution and getting caught in between objects, with these four categories attributing to 3 out of 5 construction worker deaths.
Of course not all plumbers work in construction, however, the risks for injuries in all plumbing fields are similar to construction risks. The Center For Construction Research And Training (CCRT) conducted an analysis on the causes of injuries and deaths for plumbers over a 15-year period, from 1992-2007. The main causes for non-fatal plumbing injuries were:
- Over 17,000 from over-exertion while lifting
- Over 7,700 due to bending, climbing, crawling and twisting injuries
- 6,400 were struck by falling object
- Over 1,600 from falls
Another common injury for plumbers is eye injuries. In fact, according to the CCRT, there are more eye injuries in the plumbing, pipefitting and steam fitting trades than any other industries. This is attributed to the fact that plumbers often are welding or soldering pipes that are in confined areas or overhead that can lead to foreign objects entering the eye and burns to hands and other parts of the body.
Work-Related Orthopedic Injuries
Plumbers are also one of the highest risk groups for work-related orthopedic or musculoskeletal disorders (WRMD). These injuries involve the tendons, muscles, nerves and joints and are common in plumbing due to the repetitive nature of the work, the confined work areas and the physical force needed to perform the job. In 2000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 40% of these WRMD that required 1 or more day lost of work were for plumbers. Some common WRMD for plumbers are:
In a study of WRMD that resulted in disabling injuries, researchers looked at the state of Oregon’s worker compensation injuries for the year 2000. For plumbers and pipe fitters, 97% of all disabling injuries were due to WRMD, with over half attributed to overexertion.Plumbing Injury Lawyers Serving Illinois
Those who work in the plumbing industry are at risk for many work-related injuries that can have long-term medical issues. If you are a plumber and are suffering from an injury caused by your job, you need to understand what financial options are available to you.
Our team of work site accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can advise you of your legal rights and investigate whether it would be beneficial for you to pursue a work injury lawsuit or benefits under a workers compensation claim. Work injuries can last a lifetime and have significant financial and personal costs to you and your family. Call us today to discuss your injury case and set up a free consultation.
Resources for injured plumbers: