Leptospirosis, Hepatitis A, Drill Motors, Tubing Cutters, Hack Saws. These are some of the illnesses and tools that flash like red lights from the pages of the Queensland Government’s health and safety section for plumbers.

Work carries risks and risks require mitigation. Those jobs with higher danger levels deserve special attention. They need the equipment and tools to help workers be more efficient while boosting their safety.

Read on to find out about safe plumbing industry working practices. We’ll find out how one simple plumbing safety valve is playing its part by coming to the rescue of all plumbers.

Illnesses and Infections
Contact with stormwater and sewage is a key everyday hazard for any plumber. This kind of harmful waste includes untreated or raw sewage, septic tank waste, sludge, biosolids and effluent water.

Why is it dangerous? If not handled with care it can cause a whole host of infections that can spread to both plumbers and those they come into contact with. Here’s a selection of the most common types of problems it can cause:

●     Gastroenteritis

●     Skin infections

●     Hepatitis A & Leptospirosis (flu-like symptoms, can cause serious illness)

Sewage may also contain certain non-infectious biological substances such as endotoxins. When you breathe these in, it can lead to allergies along with stomach and respiratory problems.

Dangerous chemicals sometimes found in wastewater can also produce gases. These can lead to a deficiency in oxygen and a combustible atmosphere.

Managing the Risk

Reducing or stopping exposure altogether should always be the ultimate goal. The best way to do this is to wear protective clothing, goggles and head coverings. Vaccinations and attention to personal hygiene will help too.

There are two other key areas that are important:

  1. Cleaning and Disinfection

Contaminated surfaces and equipment all need disinfecting. Very often, it’s best practice to clean these with plain water and detergent first before using a disinfectant.

Cleaned and dirty equipment need to get stored separately. It’s best to avoid using aerosols and high-pressure washers because these can disperse germs when there is sewage in the environment. Controlling pests like insects or rodents may need some careful consideration too.

  1. Tools and Equipment

Having the right gear and the expertise to use it all properly is also going to help. There are, for example, specialist remote-controlled robotic cameras to inspect sewer pipelines.

Sometimes it’s the simpler devices that can make all the difference. Old-fashioned stormwater test valves and sewer test valves are often no longer fit for purpose.

They may also be in places that are almost impossible to reach. That can increase the risk of injury from poor posture and the danger when stormwater or sewage escapes at high pressure.

A Simple Solution
The K-Valve is a new, cleverly designed plumbing test valve. It‘s able to streamline testing sewer and stormwater systems. That applies to those used in all industrial, residential and commercial settings.

Testing is necessary, especially in new residential builds or following a major incident. A certified sign-off is a prerequisite for owner occupation. When compared to a standard stormwater test valve, the K-Valve system saves residential plumbers valuable time and water.

Installation of a permanent test plug and cap is quick and easy. That makes it an ideal choice for homes of any age. Once installed, it’s going to come into its own whenever a plumber gets a call-out.

How the K-Valve System Can Help
This plumbing safety valve manages the risk of injuries to plumbers along with recovery time. Using the K-Valve mitigates the chances of:

  • Cuts when pushing hands between pipes.
  • Scrapes to the skin when getting fixtures in place
  • Sprains or dislocations when locating the hand-tension test plug in pipework
  • Spinal pain and injuries from working in non-ergonomically appropriate positions

It’s not only tools like hacksaws, hammers, chisels and wrenches that lead to plumbers having serious accidents and injuries.

One of the most serious types of injury to plumbers can happen at the inspection opening during the testing phase. The awkward position most plumbers need to work in and the force with which the water can flow back once it gets released can be enough to fracture bones.

We’ve all come across poorly designed pipework that several different workers may have patched together. That can happen through a series of jobs over a period of years and can ultimately be the root cause of a sprain or bad back.

The K-Valve design is simple, making it easy to install. That happens by:

  • Fitting the K-Valve as the standard inspection and test opening
  • Applying the separate test plug during the testing phase
  • Finalising the process with the permanent plug and cap

K-Valve Gets the Recognition It Deserves
Every year, the Queensland Government accepts nominations for its Safe Work and Return to Work awards. The ceremony may not have all the glamour of the Oscars but it is a marker of the confidence such a big player has in its carefully selected finalists.

K-Valve Systems is proud to have reached the final 5 in the number one Awards category for 2021. This recognises excellence in the development and implementation of a solution to an identified work health and safety issue.

So whether you’re a builder, homeowner, plumber or small business, the K-Valve system is going to help keep everyone safer with time and cost savings along the way.

Through its fail-safe design, the K-Valve removes the need for a conventional plug. Instead, it offers a test point system that is safe, fast, and effective for use by all residential and commercial plumbers.

We’d Love to Hear From You
We’re passionate about plumbing safety and keeping all those who work on-site as safe as possible. That’s one of the key reasons we developed the K-Valve system and a plumbing safety valve we’re proud to call our very own.

Join the growing band of plumbers who are now finding their jobs easier and safer by installing the K-Valve system. You can find out all the latest about K-Valve here on our Facebook page or get in touch with us using our webpage.