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Proper PPE Essential When Cleaning Drains
November 21, 2013 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Safe and effective use of drain-cleaning equipment also requires technicians' proper use of personal protective equipment. Two important safety items essential to drain cleaning are glasses or goggles with side shields and gloves.
Eye protection is an important safeguard against flying solid objects or caustic liquids, which can become airborne when the cable under tension is suddenly released. Gloves protect a technician's hands from sharp objects and are especially important for the hand that guides the cable into and out of the drain. Sudden release of a stoppage can cause the cable to spin rapidly enough — about 400 rpm, which can burn or cut bare hands.
Managers and technicians also must pay attention to the condition of work areas, including proper ventilation and lighting and a dry work surface. Sufficient ventilation minimizes the danger presented by fumes and dust, which can ignite from sparks produced by power tools. Well-lighted work areas can help technicians see potential trip-and-fall hazards.
Technicians also need to be aware of risks presented by ponding water from backed-up drains. One good safety practice is to stand on boards or a solid pallet to prevent electrical shock from grounding through water. Technicians also should check safety features on tools before taking it to the job site.