10 Tips to reducing sprains and strains
11 January 2023
Plumbing has the most strains and sprains of any trade, with 39,000+ days off due to injury in 2020.
Follow these 10 tips to lower the risk of hurt:
- Get work up off the ground. Use a trolley, sawhorse, portable bench, three-step ladder or even the tailgate or tray to avoid working bent over.
- Get closer to the task. Reduce the need to work with your arms raised by using ladders, work platforms and scaffolding.
- Take regular breaks. Rest, stretch and straighten up regularly if you’re working in awkward positions.
- Lighten your tool kit or consider using a trolley to help move your gear. Change the contents of your toolkit to match the task you’re doing and keep your main supply of tools nearby.
- Use a trolley. A trolley keeps your gear in one place, makes it easy to move and gives you a raised working surface, saving time and effort.
- Organise the back of your van or ute. It saves time and effort when packing and unpacking.
- Stay hydrated while working. Keep a water bottle in your trolley. Your pee should be light yellow!
- Have good footwear. That includes with boot inserts. You should change your footwear when it becomes worn out or after six to 12 months of continuous use.
- Go for lightweight tools. Aim to work with tools that weigh under 1.5kg and that are powered rather than manual.
- Use a tray. When working under a floor space, store your tools and other gear in something like a wheelbarrow tray. You can drag it around to where you’re working with a rope.
Note: These tips are for plumbers by plumbers on the Work Should Not Hurt! web resource at www.chasnz.org/wsnh