the space has been inspected and evaluated, you should
take the following two steps:
1. Ensure that that personnel doing the work are
confined space qualified. Ensure that proper respiratory
equipment, safety belts, lifelines, and blowers are on
2. Ensure monitoring equipment is in place and
personnel are properly protected prior to entry of
personnel into these spaces.
Where such hazards exist, the area must be
controlled, and workers must wear proper respiratory
equipment before entering the structure. Workers must
be qualified to enter the space and receive instruction
on the type of respiratory equipment for use in an
emergency, and how to assemble and use this
At least two people should be assigned to each
sewer job where there may be a hazard of broken or
leaking pipes. One person should always be in a
relatively safe position and be prepared to help in an
emergency. To help dissipate toxic or flammable gas
in a sewer or underground sewage pumping plant,
remove the manhole cover several minutes before a
worker descends. (See EM 385-1-1, Safety and Health
Requirements Manual, and the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) Regulations, 29
CFR 1910, for more information.)
CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT
Wear goggles, gloves, and other protective
clothing in all pipe-fitting, pipe-handling, and
plumbing work, particularly when you are handling
hot metal or acid or flying material could injure your
eyes. When using compressed air to clean out sand,
dirt, or scale from pipes before installation, you should
Wear flameproof garments when using blow
torches, welding torches, or similar tools. Plumbers
should wear heavy coveralls and leggings that cover
the in step to protect against hot lead; if unavailable,
the regular working uniform may be acceptable.
When entering deep tanks, deep sewers, and other
deep underground structures, you should wear a safety
belt and a lifeline.
Use portable blowers for tank, pit, or manhole
work where you suspect noxious gases, vapors, or a
lack of oxygen. These blowers should have
vapor-proof, totally enclosed motors or non-sparking
gas engines. Place the blowers at least 6 feet away from
the opening and on the leeward side protected from
wind, so they do not ignite flammable gas.
The following precautions apply to tools in
general. Since pipe wrenches are one of the plumbers
most important tools, precautions for these tools are in
the following section.
Keep tools and appliances in good condition.
Replace worn tools. Check hammer handles
frequently; do not use hammers with broken or cracked
handles. Also, do not let tools or materials clutter up
the floor and become stumbling hazards. Pick up
pieces of scrap pipe promptly and dump them in the
scrap bin or scrap tubs for the next pickup.
Vise jaws should be used to grip material securely.
When threads are being cut and during backing off
operations, hold the stock firmly. Protect freshly cut
threads with caps or couplings whenever possible.
Guard against sharp burrs or fins. When operating a
pipe-threading machine, determine the clearance of
the pipe before starting the machine.
You should NEVER drop a cold ladle or other cold
material into a pot of molten lead. It will explode.
Never use an extension on a pipe wrench.
wrench was not made to handle this strain. Be
there is plenty of clearance if the wrench should slip.
Ensure that an adjustable pipe wrench faces forward in
the direction the handle is to turn. When you use it in
that way, an adjustable wrench can withstand the
greatest force, because the pulling force is applied to
the stationary jaw side of the handle. Also, an
adjustable wrench should always bite near the middle
of the jaws, because there are teeth in front if the
wrench slips. Do not overwork small wrenches, avoid
side strain, and never use them as hammers.
Workers should wear leather or leather-faced
gloves when handling pipe. They should also stand to
one side when pipe is being unloaded from a truck.
Pipe should be piled so the ends are even and do not
project into walkways. Pipe should be stacked straight;
that is, not crossed.
Pipe should not be piled directly on the bare
ground; racks or dunnage should be provided.