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Injuries and Accident Causes
in Plumbing Operations

A Detailed Analysis o f
Accidents Experienced by
Plumbers During




1948

and

1949

Bulletin No. 1079
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
M aurice J. T o b i n , Secretary

B U R E A U O F L A B O R ST A T IST IC S
E w a n C la g u E, C om m issioner




Injuries and Accident Causes
in Plumbing Operations

Bulletin No. 1 0 7 9

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Maurice J. T obin , Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
E w an Clague , Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. Price 25 cents



1

Letter of Transmittal

U nited S tates D epartment of Labor,
B ureau of Labor S tatistics,

Washington, D. C., February 28, 1952.

The S ecretary

of

Labor :

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on the occurrence and
causes of work injuries experienced by plumbers.
This report constitutes a part of the Bureau’s regular program of com­
piling work-injury information for use in accident-prevention work. The
statistical analysis and the preparation of the report were performed in the
Bureau’s Branch of Industrial Hazards by Frank S. McElroy, George R.
McCormack, and Francis J. Rafferty. The specific accident-prevention sug­
gestions were prepared by Roland P. Blake of the Division of Safety
Standards of the Bureau of Labor Standards.
E wan Clague, Commissioner.

Hon. Maurice J. T obin ,

Secretary of Labor.

Contents

Abstract .........................................................................................................................................................
The injury record ......................................................................................................................................
Scope and method of survey .................................................................................................................
Injury rates (definitions of terms and procedures) ............................................................
Injury-frequency rate .............................................................................................................
Average time charge per disabling injury .....................................................................
Injury-severity rate .................................................................................................................
Accident-cause analysis (definitions of terms and procedures) ........................................
Agency of injury ....................................................................................................................
Accident type ............................................................................................................................
Hazardous condition .................................................................................................................
Agency of accident ........................................................................................
Unsafe act ..................................................................................................................................
Hazards of the occupation .....................................................................................................................
Kinds of injuries experienced ...............................................................................................................
Accident analysis ........................................................................................................................................
Agencies of in ju ry ............................................................................................................................
Accident types ....................................................................................................................................
ii




Page

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6
6
8

Contents— Continued
Page

Accident causes .........................................................................................................................................
Hazardous working conditions .....................................................................................................
Hazardous working procedures .........................................................................................
Defective agencies ....................................................................................................................
Lack of personal protective equipment ...........................................................................
Inadequately guarded agencies ............................................................................................
Poor housekeeping....................................................................................................................
Unsafe acts ..........................................................................................................................................
Gripping objects insecurely .................................................................................................
Inattention to footing ............................................................................................................
Inattention to surroundings .................................................................................................
Assuming an unsafe position .............................................................................................
Exerting excessive pressure .................................................................................................
Failure to secure or warn ...................................................................................................
Accident prevention suggestions ........................................................................................................
Case descriptions and recommendations ..................................................................................
Appendix—Statistical tables ................................................................................................................

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10
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12
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13
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14
14
14
14
14
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15
15
22

Tables
Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States, 1949,
classified by nature of injury and—
Table 1. Occupation of injured ......................................................................................................
Table 2. Location of accident ..........................................................................................................
Table 3. Activity of injured ......»....................................................................................................
Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States, 1949,
classified by part of body injured and—
Table 4. Occupation of injured ......................................................................................................
Table 5. Location of accident .........................................................................................................
Table 6. Activity of injured ............................................................................................................
Table 7. Nature of injury ...............................................................................................................
Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States, 1949,
classified by type of accident and—
Table 8. Agency of injury ................................................................................................................
Table 9. Occupation of injured ......................................................................................................
Table 10. Location of accident ........................................................................................................
Table 11. Activity of injured ............................................................................................................
Table 12. Hazardous working condition ........................................................................................
Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States, 1949,
classified by hazardous working condition and—
Table 13. Agency of accident ............................................................................................................
Table 14. Occupation of injured ......................................................................................................
Table 15. Location of accident ........................................................................................................
Table 16. Activity of injured ............................................................................................................
Table 17. Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,
1949, classified by type of accident and unsafe a c t ..........................................

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23
24
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
32
33
34

Charts
Chart 1. Agencies of injury .......................................................................................................... 7
Chart 2. Major types of accidents ................................................................................................. 9
Chart 3. Major types of unsafe working conditions ............................................................... 11




iii




Abstract

Data from a previous study, covering the year 1948, indicate that plumbers
experience fewer work injuries than most of the workers in construction trades.
Their injury-frequency rate, however, is considerably higher than the rates for
most manufacturing activities.
The previous survey also established that plumbers working on new construction
had a higher injury-frequency rate than those working on repairs, but that the
repair work produced a much higher proportion of serious injuries. On new con­
struction the frequency rates for residential and nonresidential work were identical,
but the injuries tended to be more severe in nonresidential work. On repair work,
both the frequency of injury and the general severity of the injuries were higher
for residential projects than for nonresidential work.
The present study indicates that the most common injuries experienced by
plumbers, in order of frequency, were: Sprains, cuts, bruises, fractures, burns,
foreign bodies in the eye, and hernias.
Three-fourths of the injuries resulted from four general types of accidents:
Struck by moving objects (28 percent); overexertion (22 percent); bumping or
striking against objects (14 percent); and falls (12 percent).
The major physical or mechanical causes of plumbing accidents were found
to be: Hazardous working procedures; defective agencies; the lack of personal
protective equipment; inadequately guarded agencies; and poor housekeeping.
The leading personal causes in many instances directly associated with the
physical hazards, were: Gripping objects insecurely; inattention to footing; inatten­
tion to surroundings; taking an unsafe position; exerting excessive pressure; and
failure to secure materials or warn others of material movement.
Accident-prevention suggestions, prepared by the Division of Safety Standards
of the Bureau of Labor Standards, indicate that most accidents in plumbing opera­
tions could be prevented through the application of simple precautions.




V




Injuries and Accident Causes in
Plumbing Operations
The Injury Record
Employees of plumbing, heating, and airconditioning specialty contractors experienced
an average of 28.5 disabling injuries1 for every
million employee-hours worked during 1950.
This was a slight improvement over the corre­
sponding average of 30.7 for 1949 and 30.6 for
1948. Time lost because of injuries in 1950
averaged 1.7 days for every 1,000 employeehours worked or more than 3 days for each
full-time worker in this division of the con­
struction industry.2
In comparison with the injury rates for other
types of construction work, the injury-fre­
quency rate3 for plumbing, heating, and air
conditioning in 1950 was relatively low. The
all-construction rate, for example, was 41.0;
the rate for general contracting operations was
44.5; and the average rate for all types of
special-trades contracting was 33.4. The com­
parison with other construction activities in
respect to injury severity was also favorable.
The all-construction severity rate3 (3.8) was
more than double, and the average time charge
per injury3 (93 days) was half again as high
as the corresponding averages for plumbing,
heating, and air-conditioning operations.
Comparison of the 28.5 injury-frequency rate
1A disabling work injury is any injury, occurring in
the course of and arising out of employment, which (a)
results in death or any degree of permanent physical
impairment, or (b) makes the injured person unable to
perform the duties of any regularly established job open
and available to him, throughout the hours corresponding
to his regular shift on any day after the day of injury,
including Sundays, holidays, and periods of plant shut­
down.
2See Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 975, Work
Injuries in the United States During 1948; and press
release, dated December 23, 1951, Work Injuries Rise in
1950.




for plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning
with most nonconstruction activities was much
less favorable—it was about double the 14.7
rate for all-manufacturing in 1950. The acci­
dental death rate was also three times that of
all-manufacturing, but workers in manufactur­
ing had a much higher ratio of permanent im­
pairments.
Injury-rate data for 1949 and 1950 are avail­
able only as totals covering all employees in
the plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning di­
vision of the construction industry. Therefore,
it is not possible to present injury rates for the
specific occupation of plumbers for those years.
The Bureau’s survey of work injuries in con­
struction during 1948,4 however, did include
occupational details. The relationships among
the various construction occupations and the
general injury patterns indicated at that time
probably are reasonably accurate representa­
tions of current conditions.
In 1948, plumbers5 employed by plumbing,
heating, and air-conditioning specialty contrac3The injury-frequency rate is the average number of
disabling work injuries for each million employee-hours
worked.
The severity rate is the average number of days lost
or charged on account of disabling injuries per 1,000
employee-hours worked.
The average time charge is computed by adding the
days lost for each temporary-total disability to the
standard time charges for fatalities and permanent dis­
abilities, as given in Method of Compiling Industrial
Injury Bates (approved by the American Standards Asso­
ciation, 1945), and by dividing the total by the number
of disabling injuries.
For further discussion of these definitions, see chapter
on Scope and Method, p. 2.
4See Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 1004,
Work Injuries in Construction, 1948-49.
5Includes journeymen, apprentices, helpers, and
plumbers’ supervisors.

l

2

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

tors had an injury-frequency rate of 28.6, some­
what lower than the average for all workers
in this division of the construction industry.
The employment of plumbers is, of course,
highly concentrated in this segment of the in­
dustry, and the record of this group may be
generally accepted as representative of the in­
jury experience of the occupation. The survey
indicated, however, that the injury rates for
plumbers employed in other divisions of the
construction industry tended to be somewhat
higher so that the average frequency rate for
all plumbers, regardless of where employed,
was 29.5.
The highest injury-frequency rate for any
group of plumbers in 1948 was 50.4 for those
employed by heavy and marine construction.
These workers, however, experienced relatively
few serious injuries. There was little difference

between the frequency rates for plumbers em­
ployed by general building contractors (27.8)
and for those working for plumbing, heating,
and air-conditioning contractors. The latter
group, however, had the higher proportion of
serious injuries.
Plumbers working on new construction in
1948 had a substantially higher injury-frequen­
cy rate than those working on repairs, but the
repair work produced a much higher propor­
tion of serious injuries. On new construction,
the frequency rates for residential and nonresidential work were identical, but the injuries
tended to be more severe in the nonresidential
work. On repair work, both the frequency of
injury and the general severity of the injuries
were higher for residential projects than for
nonresidential work.

Scope and Method of Survey
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled
annual injury rates since 1938 for the construc­
tion industry as a whole and for each of the
three primary types of construction—building,
heavy engineering, and highway. Most of the
reports received in the surveys before 1948
came from general contractors, although some
reports were received from special-trades con­
tractors in each classification.
In 1948 the coverage and detail of the survey
were enlarged and injury rates were presented
in occupational detail for a wide range of spe­
cial-trades operations. The occupational break­
downs were not continued in subsequent years,
but separate injury-rate information was com­
piled for a number of special-trades contracting
operations in 1949 and 1950. All the data as­
sembled in the injury-rate surveys have been
collected by mail. Reporting is entirely volun­
tary.

Injury Rates
The injury-rate comparisons presented in
this report are based primarily upon injuryfrequency and severity rates compiled under the
definitions and procedures specified in the
American Standard Method of Compiling In­



dustrial Injury Rates, as approved by the
American Standards Association in 1945.
These standard rates have been supplemented
by an additional measure of injury severity
designated as the average time charge per
disabling injury. These measures are computed
as follows:
Injury-frequency rate .—The injury-frequen­
cy rate represents the average number of dis­
abling work injuries occurring in each million
employee-hours worked. It is computed accord­
ing to the following formula:
Frequency rate=
Number of disabling injuries X 1,000,000
Number of employee-hours worked
Average time charge 'per disabling injury .—
The relative severity of a temporary injury is
measured by the number of calendar days dur­
ing which the injured person is unable to work
at any regularly established job which is open
and available to him, excluding the day of in­
jury and the day on which he returns to work.
The relative severity of death and permanent
impairment cases is determined by reference

SCOPE AND METHOD OF SURVEY

to a table of economic time charges included in
the American Standard Method of Compiling
Industrial Injury Rates. These time charges,
based upon an average working-life expectancy
of 20 years for the entire working population,
represent the average percentage of working
ability lost as the result of specified impair­
ments, expressed in unproductive days. The
average time charge per disabling injury is
computed by adding the days lost for each
temporary injury and the days charged accord­
ing to the standard table for each death and
permanent impairment and dividing the total
by the number of disabling injuries.
Injury-severity rate. — The injury-severity

rate weights each disabling injury with its
corresponding time-loss or time-charge, and ex­
presses the aggregate in terms of the average
number of days lost or charged per 1,000 em­
ployee-hours worked. It is computed according
to the following formula:
Severity rate=
Total days lost or charged X 1>000
Number of employee-hours worked
Accident-Cause Analysis
The individual accident case records collected
for this study were obtained from State work­
men’s compensation files. This method repre­
sents a deviation from the Bureau’s regular
practice in similar surveys for other industries
in which the data are obtained from the rec­
ords of individual employers. A basic charac­
teristic of the construction industry dictated
this change in the method of data collection.
Most firms employing plumbers are relatively
small and, even though the injury rate is com­
paratively high, the number of injuries experi­
enced by employees in any one establishment is
also small. The number of visits to individual
establishments necessary to obtain an adequate
volume of case records for analysis, therefore,
would have been prohibitive both in terms of
time and expense.
Use of the compensation files as the source
of the data placed some limitations upon the



3

analysis, particularly the degree of detail in
which the findings could be presented. It is
believed, however, that the greater volume of
case records obtained by this collection method
compensates in large measure for the lack of
additional details which could have been ob­
tained through discussion of the individual
cases with the employers, supervisors, or work­
ers who might have been familiar with the un­
reported circumstances associated with the ac­
cidents.
The workmen’s compensation agencies of 13
States made their files available for this survey.
These States—Arkansas, California, Colorado,
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachu­
setts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont,
and West Virginia—constitute a cross section
of the country, insuring the reflection of all
possible variations in hazards introduced by
differences in climate or construction proce­
dures as well as by the differences arising from
State safety codes and safety-enforcement prac­
tices. Records were obtained of 2,719 individ­
ual accidents. The primary basis of selection
was occupational—the injured person in each
instance was either a journeyman plumber, an
apprentice plumber, a plumber’s helper, or a
plumbing supervisor. In the great majority of
cases the injured person was employed by a
special-trades contractor engaged in the instal­
lation or repair of plumbing, heating, and airconditioning equipment. Some accidents to
plumbers employed by contractors in other
branches of construction were included. Acci­
dents involving steam fitters, plumbers’ helpers,
and plumbers employed as maintenance men
outside the construction industry were ex­
cluded. The selected cases were taken from
the records for the years 1948 and 1949.
For each case selected, a representative of
the Bureau of Labor Statistics transcribed from
the records, insofar as the data were available,
the following items of information: Place of
accident; work being done by the injured at the
time of the accident; nature of injury; part of
body injured; and a description of how and
why the accident occurred.
The accident-cause analysis procedure used
in this study differs in some respects from those
specified in the American Standard Method of

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

4

Compiling Industrial Accident Causes. The de­
viations from the Standard include the intro­
duction of an additional analysis factor—the
"agency of injury”—and the modification of the
standard definitions of some of the other factors
in order to permit more accurate cross classifi­
cations.
Agency of injury. —The standard classifica­
tion provides for the selection of only one
“agency” in the analysis of each accident. By
definition, this agency may be either (a) the
object or substance which was unsafe and
which thereby contributed to the occurrence of
the accident, or (b) in the absence of such an
unsafe object or substance, the object or sub­
stance most closely related to the injury. Under
this definition, therefore, a tabulation of “agen­
cies” for a group of accidents will include ob­
jects or substances which may have been inher­
ently safe and unrelated to the occurrence of
the accidents, as well as those which because
of their condition, location, structure, method
of use, or other unsafe characteristic led to the
occurrence of accidents. The development of
the classification “agency of injury” represents
an attempt to classify separately these two
“agency” concepts.
As used in this study, the “agency of injury”
is the object, substance, or bodily reaction
which actually produced the injury, selected
without regard to its safety characteristics or
its influence upon the chain of events constitut­
ing the accident.
Accident type.— As used in this study, the
accident-type classification assigned to each ac­
cident is purely descriptive of the occurrence
which resulted in the injury and is related
specifically to the agency of injury. It indicates
how the injured person came into contact with
or was affected by the previously selected
agency of injury. This represents a change
from the standard procedure in two respects:
First, the accident-type classification is speci­
fically related to the previously selected agency
of injury; and, second, the sequence of select­
ing this factor is specified.
Hazardous condition. — Under the standard



definition, the hazardous condition indicated in
the analysis is defined as the “unsafe mechani­
cal or physical condition of the selected agency
which could have been guarded or corrected.”
This implies the prior selection of the “agency,”
but does not provide for recognition of any
relationship between the unsafe condition and
accident-type classifications. Nor does the
standard provide for any definite relationship
between the “agency” and “accident type”
classifications.
To provide continuity and to establish direct
relationships among the various analysis fac­
tors so as to permit cross classification, the
standard definition was modified for this study
to read: “The unsafe mechanical or physical
condition is the hazardous condition which
permitted or occasioned the occurrence of the
selected accident type.” The hazardous-condi­
tion classification, therefore, was selected after
the determination of the accident-type classifi­
cation and represents the physical or mechani­
cal reason for the occurrence of that particular
accident without regard to the feasibility of
guarding or correcting the unsafe condition.
Elimination of the condition “which could
have been guarded or corrected” is based upon
the premise that statistical analysis should in­
dicate the existence of hazards, but should not
specify the feasibility of corrective measures.
Agency of accident.—For the purpose of this
survey, the agency of accident was defined as
the “object, substance, or premises in or about
which the hazardous condition existed.” Its
selection, therefore, is directly associated with
the hazardous condition which led to the oc­
currence of the accident. In many instances
the agency of injury and the agency of accident
were found to be identical. The double agency
classification, however, avoids any possibility
of ambiguity in the interpretation of the
“agency” tabulations.
Unsafe act.—The unsafe act definition used
in this survey is identical with the standard
definition, i. e., “that violation of a commonly
accepted safe procedure which resulted in the
selected accident type.”

HAZARDS OF THE OCCUPATION

5

Hazards of the Occupation
In common with most construction trades,
plumbers face many hazards which arise more
in their work environment than from the spe­
cific operations characteristic of their trade.
Most of their work is performed away from
their employer’s shop on premises where
neither the employer nor the workman can
exercise full control over the physical working
conditions.
Much of the plumber’s work is performed in
new, partially completed structures, where
housekeeping problems are particularly prev­
alent. The premises around the structure are
often muddy, slippery, rutted, cut by open
trenches, obstructed by piles of dirt or ma­
terials, cluttered with the equipment of many
trades, and littered with scrap materials. The
possibility of injury from a slip or fall or from
contact with sharp or rough materials, there­
fore, arises as soon as the worker enters the
construction area. These hazards become most
serious when the plumber is moving his tools,
equipment, and materials to or from the work­
place. The materials are frequently heavy,
bulky, or awkward to handle, and, because they
usually are moved manually, the operation pre­
sents considerable possibility for strains,
sprains, or other injuries arising from over­
exertion. The hazardous surface over which
they must be moved multiplies these possibil­
ities.
Inside the structure there are many possibili­

ties of slips, falls, and overexertion because of
unfinished floors (which are frequently rough,
irregular, and cluttered with materials or
scrap), unguarded floor openings, open stair­
ways, and rough access ladders. Falling ma­
terials, originating in the operation of other
trades on the premises as well as in their own,
constitute another important hazard for plumb­
ers on new construction. Many items installed
by plumbers must be fitted into relatively inac­
cessible places. This frequently involves work­
ing in cramped or awkward positions where it
is difficult to control either the materials or the
tools which must be used, and often leads to
the use of inadequate scaffolds or work plat­
forms. Bumps, cuts, falls, and crushing in­
juries frequently occur in these circumstances.
In repair work also, the plumber encounters
many hazards arising from poor housekeeping
conditions, and frequently finds it necessary to
work in tight and extremely inaccessible quar­
ters. The use of hand tools, which normally
presents little possibility of injury, can become
very hazardous under such conditions.
The inherent hazards of plumbing opera­
tions, as contrasted with those created by the
environment in which the work is performed,
arise primarily in the manual handling of
heavy materials and in the use of hand tools.
Traffic accidents experienced in moving from
job to job also constitute an important source
of injuries to plumbers.

Kinds of Injuries Experienced
Strains and sprains (excluding hernias)
were the most common injuries reported for
plumbers—nearly a third of the cases—fol­
lowed by cuts and lacerations (19 percent),
bruises and contusions (17 percent), and frac­
tures (10 percent). Of lesser prominence,
burns and scalds represented 7 percent of the
injury volume; foreign bodies in the eye, 6
percent; and hernias 3 percent. (See appendix
tables 1, 2, and 3.)
More than half the strains and sprains were
cases involving the back and nearly a fourth
were foot and leg injuries. Cuts and lacera­



tions occurred most commonly on the hands and
fingers (about half the total) and on the feet
and legs (about a fourth). Bruises were com­
mon on all parts of the body, but were most
frequently reported as leg injuries. The frac­
tures included a relatively high proportion of
foot, toe, finger, and rib cases as well as sev­
eral very serious cases of back and skull frac­
tures. The burns and scalds were primarily
hand, eye, and foot cases.
More than 40 percent of the reported injuries
occurred when the workers were lifting, mov­
ing, or placing objects; 30 percent while the

6

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

workers were using hand tools; and 11 percent
while they were simply moving about in the
workplace. Injuries which happened while mov­
ing materials included most of the hernias, well
over half the strains and sprains, about half
of the fractures, about a third of the bruises,
and about a fifth of the cuts and lacerations.
In contrast, the injuries experienced while us­
ing hand tools included most of the eye cases,

over a third of the cuts and bruises, and many
strains, sprains, and fractures. Nearly half
the injuries experienced when the workers were
moving about the work site were strains or
sprains, most of which resulted from trips,
slips, or falls on irregular surfaces. Bruises
and cuts from contact with rough or sharp ma­
terials occurred frequently in this activity and
many falls resulted in fractures.

Accident Analysis
Accident reports frequently are very defi­
cient in specifying the basic causes for injuries.
In many instances, the only available informa­
tion comes from the injured person himself,
or from witnesses who lack either the skill or
the opportunity to fully investigate the event
in order to determine the actual cause of acci­
dent. It is common, therefore, to find a high
proportion of accident reports which are inade­
quate for complete cause analysis. This was
particularly true of the reports analyzed in this
study, inasmuch as they were prepared pri­
marily to satisfy the reporting requirements of
the various State workmen’s compensation
boards. In this type of reporting, injury in­
formation is stressed much more than the acci­
dent details.
Despite these limitations, however, the ana­
lyst can draw much useful information from
even the most sketchy accident description. Al­
most invariably an accident description tends
to follow the normal line of thinking on the
part of an interested person who hears that
a friend or acquaintance has been injured. The
first thought is of the injury itself. Was it a
burn, a cut, a bruise, a strain, or something
else? Then, what produced the injury and how
did it happen? These are all descriptive facts
which are readily apparent to the witnesses.
The more analytical question—Why did it hap­
pen?—usually arises only after the desire for
descriptive information has been satisfied. It
frequently goes unanswered, either because of
preoccupation with the descriptive factors, or
because the answer may not be readily appar­
ent.
The direct approach in accident analysis,
therefore, is to obtain pertinent information in



the order in which it is recorded. The facts
should indicate which objects or substances
most commonly produce injuries, how they
produce the injuries, and should suggest the
action necessary for accident-prevention.
Agencies of Injury
Expressed in broad categories, the principal
agencies of injury—i. e., the objects, sub­
stances, or bodily reactions which actually in­
flicted the injuries—were plumbing fixtures,
hand tools, working surfaces, hot substances,
and flying particles. (See appendix table 8.)
Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from
contact with the materials of the trade, such
as pipes, tubs, heaters, and sinks. About half
these cases were strains or sprains experienced
in handling of materials. Bruises and cuts from
bumping into, rubbing against, or being struck
by the fixtures were common.
About 11 percent of the injuries were in­
flicted by hand tools, mostly wrenches and
hammers. The most common injuries in this
category were bruises, resulting from the in­
jured person’s striking himself with his own
hand tool, followed by strains and sprains due
to overexertion in applying the tools.
Contact with working surfaces produced
about 9 percent of the injuries. Most commonly
these contacts resulted from falls, causing, in
many instances, severe bruises, contusions, or
fractures.
Surprisingly, about 7 percent of the injuries
were burns resulting from contact with hot
substances such as molten lead, soldering irons,
the flame or heated parts of plumbers’ fur­
naces, steam or hot water, and pipes carrying

ACCIDENT ANALYSIS

7

CHART 1 AGENCIES OF INJURY IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS
.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

hot liquids. These generally were not serious
injuries, but in the aggregate they accounted
for a substantial amount of lost time.
Flying particles produced another 7 percent
of the injuries, and came mostly from the use
of impact tools such as hammers, chisels, picks,
and jackhammers, or high-speed power tools
such as saws, buffers, or drills. Wind-borne
particles of unknown origin, however, were



relatively common sources of injury. Practic­
ally all the injuries inflicted by flying particles
were eye injuries, none of which was serious.
The possibility of permanent disability from
this source, however, should not be minimized.
Impact goggles undoubtedly would have pre­
vented practically all of these injuries. Wider
use of these protective devices in operations
which produce flying particles is indicated.

8

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

About 6 percent of the injuries were strains
or sprains resulting from bodily reactions
rather than from contact with any particular
object or substance. These occurred most fre­
quently when the injured person slipped or lost
his balance on an irregular surface and over­
exerted himself in trying to avoid a fall.
Lumber, chemicals, chips, splinters, and ve­
hicles separately were responsible for relatively
few injuries, but in the aggregate they were
the agencies of injury in about 10 percent of
the cases.

occurred when the tools slipped from the object
to which they were being applied; others were
simply cases in which the tools were misdi­
rected. Here again the apprentices experienced
more than their proportionate share of these
accidents.
Overexertion accidents occurred primarily in
the course of lifting, carrying, pulling, or push­
ing heavy objects, and secondly, in exerting
pressure on wrenches or other hand tools. A
high proportion of these accidents occurred on
steps or stairways—they were even more com­
mon than falls at these locations. Accidents in
this category were frequently experienced by
Accident Types
all classes of plumbing workers, but were the
leading source of injury for plumbing super­
The great majority of the reported accidents
fell into four general categories. Accidents in intendents and foremen.
Accidents of the “striking against” type ac­
which the injured persons were struck by mov­
counted for one in every seven of the reported
ing objects accounted for over 28 percent of
the injuries; overexertion accidents were re­ injuries. About half of these were simple cases
sponsible for 22 percent. Accidents in which of workers bumping against machines, working
the injured person bumped into or struck surfaces, lumber, or hand tools. Poor house­
against objects produced 14 percent of the in­ keeping and cramped working spaces led to
juries, and falls accounted for another 12 per­ many of these accidents. Most of the other
cases in the group were accidents in which
cent. (See appendix tables 9, 10, and 11.)
workers stepped on nails or wires, or rubbed
In about half the accidents in the “struckby” group, pipes, tubs, radiators, and other against rough or sharp objects. Many of the
plumbing fixtures, hand tools, and lumber were latter accidents occurred in the course of han­
the agencies of injury. In a majority of in­ dling burred pipe, plumbing fixtures, or hand
stances the injury-producing objects were tools. Knee abrasions resulting from kneeling
dropped by the injured person himself. These on rough surfaces were common.
Falls produced a wide range of relatively se­
accidents usually resulted in crushing injuries
to the feet or hands. In proportion, helpers rious injuries. In about a third of these acci­
and apprentices experienced more accidents of dents the injured person slipped or tripped and
fell to the surface on which he had been walk­
this type than the journeymen plumbers.
Another important segment of the “struck- ing or standing. Wet, muddy, or icy surfaces,
by” group consisted of cases involving flying inadequate plank walkways, and loose ma­
objects, i. e., objects propelled by a force other terials or scrap contributed to many of these
than gravity. Most of these objects were small accidents. In many instances the workers were
particles thrown off by hand tools and most of carrying bulky or heavy objects when they fell,
the injuries affected the eyes. In a number of which not only helped to bring about the fall
cases, however, the agencies of injury were but also tended to increase the severity of the
wind-blown particles or dusts or larger objects resulting injuries.
dislodged and carried by the wind. Apprentices
Many falls were from elevations such as lad­
appeared to be particularly susceptible to in­ ders, joists, or other open structural members;
jury by flying particles originating in hand-tool from regular or makeshift scaffolds or plat­
operations.
forms; and on roughed-in stairways. Journey­
The third major group of struck-by accidents men and supervisory plumbers had a higher
consisted of cases in which the workers were ratio of falls than did helpers or apprentices.
struck by their own hand tools. Many of these
Among the less prominent types of accidents,



ACCIDENT ANALYSIS

Chart 2.

9

MAJOR TYPES OF ACCIDENTS IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

O

10

PERCENT OF ALL DISABLING INJURIES

20

30

40

Struck by moving objects

Striking against objects

Contact with extreme temperatures

Falls from elevations

Caught in, on, or between moving objects

Slip s (not fa lls)

Falls on same level

Other

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OP LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

the most important were: Those involving contact with hot substances; those in which the
injured person was caught and crushed between



two objects; and those in which the worker
slipped or stumbled and strained himself in
avoiding a fall. The “hot substances” cases

10

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

consisted primarily of burns inflicted by molten
lead, soldering irons, and hot liquids.
The “caught in, on, or between” cases con­
sisted largely of finger and toe injuries while
setting down or moving heavy objects. How­
ever, a number of accidents occurred in which
the injured person was crushed between mov­
ing materials or moving vehicles and fixed
objects. The most common trench accidents

were those in which workers were caught under
sliding dirt when unsupported trench walls
collapsed.
Injury-producing slips and stumbles most
commonly were attributed to poor housekeep­
ing or to the use of makeshift working sur­
faces. They occurred most frequently on the
grounds outside buildings under construction,
and on stairways and ladders inside buildings.

Accident Causes
Modern accident prevention is based upon
two premises—first, that there is an identifiable
cause for every accident; and, second, that
when an accident cause is known, it is gen­
erally possible to eliminate or to counteract
that particular cause as the probable source of
future accidents of the same character. In
many instances, a variety of circumstances
contributes to the occurrence of an accident,
and the most desirable accident prevention pro­
cedure may be in question because of the many
possible alternatives. Generally, however, every
accident is traceable to some unsafe working
condition, to the commission of an unsafe act
by some individual, or to a combination of these
accident-producing factors. For the purpose of
establishing an effective safety program, there­
fore, it is essential to identify those elements in
the chain of circumstances leading to the acci­
dents. Concentration and emphasis upon the
elimination of the unsafe conditions and prac­
tices identified by such analysis, will almost
invariably result in improved safety records.
The correction of unsafe working conditions
generally is entirely within management’s pow­
ers. The avoidance of unsafe acts, on the other
hand, requires cooperation and understanding
by both management and workers. Manage­
ment must take the lead, however, by provid­
ing safety-minded supervisors and by making
certain that all workers know the hazards of
their operations and are familiar with the
means for overcoming them.
Hazardous Working Conditions
Three general groups of hazardous condi­
tions were found to be responsible for most of



the plumbing accidents: Hazardous working
procedures, 38 percent; defective agencies, 22
percent; and the lack of personal safety equip­
ment, 18 percent. Two other groups — inade­
quately guarded agencies and poor housekeep­
ing—each accounted for approximately 9
percent of the accidents. (See appendix tables
14, 15, and 16.)
Hazardous working procedures .—The princi­
pal hazard of this group—inadequate help in
lifting—grows out of the heavy and bulky na­
ture of many plumbing fixtures, and from the
impracticability of using mechanical equipment
to move materials on most plumbing jobs. The
necessary manual lifting and carrying of ma­
terials, moreover, frequently must be per­
formed under very adverse conditions. On new
construction the surfaces over which the ma­
terials must be moved are usually rough and
irregular and may be slippery or littered with
debris. On both new construction and repair
work the materials frequently must be maneu­
vered through or into very tight quarters where
it is difficult for more than one or two men to
participate in the operation.
This combination of circumstances, which
make up the general hazard designation—inad­
equate help in lifting—produced a very high
proportion of the overexertion accidents, most
of which resulted in strains, sprains, and her­
nias. A considerable number of “struck-by”
accidents, in which the workers dropped mate­
rials on their feet while lifting or carrying
them, were also attributable to this hazard.
Inadequate help in lifting was the most com­
mon accident cause for all classes of plumbing
workers. It was the basic cause of 37 percent

ACCIDENT CAUSES

11

CHART 3. MAJOR TYPES OF UNSAFE WORKING CONDITIONS
IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

Hazardous working procedures

Slippery floors and other defective agencies

fl\ *

Lack of personal safety equipment

Improperly guarded agencies

Poor housekeeping

Hazardous arrangements

Other

ONITID STATES DEPARTMENT OP LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

of the accidents involving supervisors, 35 per­
cent of those involving helpers, 32 percent of
the apprentices’ accidents, and 27 percent of
the accidents involving journeymen.
The hazardous condition of working without
adequate scaffolds or walkways was of less im­
portance in terms of the number of accidents,
but was of great importance in terms of the
seriousness of the accidents. Specifically, the



principal hazards lay in the lack of scaffolds
or platforms for overhead work and in the lack
of adequate walkways across open joists, floor
openings, and ditches. Most of the accidents
resulting from these hazardous conditions were
falls.
Inadequate planning or lay-out of work, re­
quiring men to operate in unnecessarily crowd­
ed quarters, also resulted in many accidents in

12

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

most of which the workers bumped into objects
or overexerted themselves in moving materials
or equipment while in cramped positions.
Defective agencies. — Nearly half the acci­
dents attributed to defects in materials and
equipment arose from internal defects which
might have been detected during thorough in­
spection, but which were not of such nature as
to be obvious to the workers in normal opera­
tions. Ranking high among these hidden de­
fects were: Crystallized metal in chisels, ham­
mers, or other impact tools, which threw off
particles when struck; structurally defective
ladders and scaffolds, which collapsed under
normal loads; weak pipes, which burst under
pressure; hot surfaces or flames in unexpected
places; internally defective hand tools which
broke in normal use; and defective electrical
connections in power equipment. The most se­
rious accidents resulting from these unsafe con­
ditions were the falls precipitated by defects in
ladders and scaffolds.
Among the more obviously defective agencies
found to be responsible for accidents, the most
important were slippery surfaces, rough or un­
even surfaces, sharp-edged materials, and pro­
truding wires and nails.
Most of the accidents ascribed to slippery,
rough, or uneven surfaces were slips or falls—
mainly on the grounds adjacent to new build­
ings rather than inside the structures. In a
number of these accidents, however, workers
dropped or lost control of materials which were
slippery with oil.
The accidents attributed to sharp-edged ma­
terials were mostly those in which workers
bumped into or rubbed against the edges of fix­
tures or pieces of metal which they were
handling or around which they were working.
Projecting nails, wires, and sharp slivers of
wood constituted an extensive hazard for
plumbers. A great many accidents were attrib­
uted to projecting nails in scrap lumber, par­
ticularly to pieces of scrap which had been
discarded and left lying about the working
premises. For purposes of analysis, these cases
were classified in the poor housekeeping cate­
gory, although they merit consideration along



with other cases that fall in the general group
of defective agencies.
Most of the accidents in the latter group were
those in which the plumbers bumped into or
rubbed against nails projecting through the
joists or other framing lumber of the buildings
in which they were working. Although the in­
jury possibilities of projecting nails and wires
are generally recognized and avoided in spaces
of ready access, many workers assume that no
hazard exists when the nails or wires project
into spaces which are normally inaccessible.
Plumbers, however, must run their pipes be­
tween the joists under the floors and between
the studding in partitions, spaces which are
ordinarily considered inaccessible. Many of the
accidents attributed to projecting nails or wires
occurred while the plumbers were installing or
repairing pipes in these areas.
Lack of personal protective equipment.—The
use of personal protective equipment is not
common in the plumbing industry, although the
record is replete with cases in which the use of
protective devices, such as safety shoes, impact
goggles, gloves, safety hats, or knee pads,
would have prevented or minimized injuries.
Wider use of these devices is unquestionably
desirable. In a great majority of cases, how­
ever, the use or nonuse of these devices bears
no relation to the accident itself. Therefore,
because accident analysis is primarily con­
cerned with determining the factors which led
to the accident as contrasted with the injury
which resulted from the accident, the absence
of personal protective devices is seldom indi­
cated as a hazardous working condition.
There are, however, certain operations per­
formed by plumbers involving inherent hazards
which can be overcome only through the use of
proper protective equipment. Typical of such
operations are the breaking, chipping, drilling,
or hammering of concrete, stone, or metal.
These operations frequently throw-off fast-fly­
ing chips or particles capable of inflicting seri­
ous eye injuries unless the eyes are protected
by a face shield or goggles. Similarly, burns
are inevitable unless proper gloves and other
protective clothing are worn while handling

ACCIDENT CAUSES

hot substances, particularly when those sub­
stances are liquid or molten and can spill or
splash onto the person. Plumbers frequently
find it necessary to assume a kneeling position
and as a result get cuts and abrasions on their
knees from contact with rough surfaces. Knee
pads probably would prevent most of these
injuries.
Most of the accidents ascribed to the lack of
personal protective equipment in this analysis
occurred in operations of the types described
above. In more than half the cases the deficien­
cy was a lack of goggles or face shields. In
most of the other cases it was the lack of gloves,
knee pads, or protective boots. It was recog­
nized that steel-toed safety shoes would have
prevented many toe injuries, but their non-use
was not considered an accident cause.
Inadequately guarded agencies. — Because
plumbers do not customarily work at great
heights, the scaffolds and platforms which they
use for overhead work are frequently without
railings or toeboards. Also, their ladders fre­
quently have neither safety shoes nor any
means by which they can be anchored to pre­
vent slippage. These factors were directly re­
sponsible for many accidents in which plumbers
fell from scaffolds, platforms, or ladders, and
for many others in which materials fell from
scaffolds or platforms and struck workers be­
low. A high proportion of all accidents expe­
rienced in trench work resulted from inade­
quate shoring.
Poor housekeeping. — Poor housekeeping at
the job site was a major source of slips and
falls and was the direct cause of many in­
juries resulting from stepping on projecting
nails in scrap lumber. Haphazardly placed ma­
terials and scattered debris lying about the
workplace present serious hazards to all per­
sons entering the area. These hazards, more­
over, are greatly intensified when it is neces­
sary to carry heavy or bulky materials through
the area.
About half the accidents ascribed to poor
housekeeping occurred when workers stepped
on projecting nails and most of the remainder
were slips or falls resulting from stepping on
or stumbling over loose materials or scrap.



13

Unsafe Acts
For the purpose of this analysis an unsafe
act was defined as that “violation of a com­
monly accepted safe procedure which occa­
sioned or permitted the occurrence of the in­
jury-producing accident.” Literally, this defini­
tion means that no personal action should be
designated as unsafe unless there is a reason­
able and less hazardous alternative procedure.
For example, the use of a ladder which was not
equipped with safety shoes when a properly
equipped ladder was not provided was classi­
fied as a hazardous condition and not as an
unsafe act. On the other hand, the use of a nail
keg or other makeshift platform as a working
surface was classified as an unsafe act because
other safe means of reaching overhead work
are generally available.
The analysis, however, does not imply that
the alternative safe procedure was known to
the person who acted in an unsafe manner, nor
that his act was the result of a considered
choice between two possible procedures. In
some instances the individual knew the safe
procedure, but consciously decided not to follow
it; in others the person acted unsafely simply
because he did not know the alternative safe
method. There are, therefore, two essential
steps in any program designed to eliminate un­
safe acts. The first is educational—to make
sure that all workers are thoroughly instructed
in the safe methods of performing their duties
and that they are familiar with the hazards
connected with deviations from them. The sec­
ond step is enforcement—to exercise strict
supervision to see that safe procedures are
followed.
Generally speaking, the accident reports
available for this study were inadequate for a
satisfactory unsafe-act analysis. Only about one
in every five reports contained sufficient de­
tails to permit accurate conclusions regarding
the possible commission of an unsafe act. The
results of the analysis, therefore, cannot be con­
sidered as establishing the general pattern of
unsafe acts in plumbing operations. The fact
that 80 percent of the reports contained no
information pointing to the commission of an
unsafe act does not mean that unsafe acts are

14

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

a factor in the occurrence of only 20 percent
of plumbing accidents.
Despite the limitations of the data, which
prevent quantitative conclusions, it is possible
to draw from the material a generalized pic­
ture of some of the most common types of un­
safe acts which lead to plumbing accidents. In
broad categories the most prominent unsafe
acts consisted of: Gripping objects insecurely;
inattention to footing; inattention to surround­
ings ; taking an unsafe position; exerting exces­
sive pressure; and failing to secure materials
or warn others of material movement. (See
appendix table 17.)
Gripping objects insecurely .—Reflecting the
preponderance of manual operations in the
plumbing field, a large proportion of the acci­
dents were directly related to improper meth­
ods of handling tools and materials. In many
instances, workers dropped objects on their own
toes or set objects down on their fingers simply
because they had not taken or maintained a
proper grip on the materials. In other instances,
workers were struck by their own hand tools
because they were not holding the tools prop­
erly to keep them under control. In some cases,
the fault lay in attempting to lift too many
objects at one time or in using one hand instead
of two. In still other cases, workmen attempted
to lift irregular, slippery, or hot objects by
grasping only a small section and found it im­
possible to hold them because they were unbal­
anced.
Inattention to footing .—Because of the irreg­
ular surfaces and poor housekeeping conditions
so frequently encountered in the areas where
plumbers must work, the primary safety ad­
monition “Watch your step” should have spe­
cial significance to these workers. The number
of missteps into openings and stumbles over
misplaced materials which should have been
quite visible, however, indicates that this pre­
cept is frequently forgotten. Cases in which
workmen stepped on loose objects and fell




while getting down from ladders or descending
stairs were quite common.
Inattention to surroundings .—Many reports
indicated that the injured workers had simply
walked into piled materials, posts, or parts of
the buildings in which they were working.
Others apparently forgot where they were and
walked over the edge of platforms. Still others
swung their tools too widely or raised their
heads too sharply while working in confined
spaces, and were injured when they struck
obstructions. Unsafe conditions contributed to
most of these accidents, but they generally re­
sulted from the combination of a hazardous
condition and an unsafe act.
Assuming an unsafe position .—The unsafe
acts in this group consisted primarily of apply­
ing hand tools in such a manner that a slip
would direct the tool against the user’s body
or against the person of another worker. Also
included were cases of working or standing
directly under overhead operations; jumping
from platforms or other elevations instead of
climbing down; working or standing in the line
of moving objects; working from makeshift
supports; and climbing on open structural
members or walking on open joists.
Exerting excessive pressure. — Most of the
cases in this group are workers who attempted
to perform alone, heavy tasks in which they
obviously should have had assistance. These
accidents frequently occurred in the use of
wrenches to tighten fittings, or in the use of
pry bars to move heavy equipment.
Failure to secure or warn .—A high propor­
tion of these accidents resulted in injury to per­
sons other than those who committed the un­
safe acts. These included cases in which work­
ers started machines or vehicles, or moved
heavy materials without first making sure that
every one in the vicinity was in the clear, as
well as cases in which materials were placed in
positions from which they could roll or fall,
and were left without proper blocking.

ACCIDENT PREVENTION SUGGESTIONS

15

Accident Prevention Suggestions
To illustrate the general hazards encountered
by plumbers, a number of typical accidents
were selected for specific comment. These acci­
dents were analyzed by a member of the Divi­
sion of Safety Standards in the Bureau of La­
bor Standards of the United States Department
of Labor and suggestions were made as to how
they might have been prevented.
The purpose of this portion of the report is
not to make all-inclusive recommendations, nor
to make authoritative safety rules for the in­
dustry, but rather to point to a simple approach
in the prevention of nearly every type of acci­
dent. Many safety engineers, no doubt, would
attack the problems involved in these acci­
dents in different ways and would achieve
equally good results. The method of prevention
is of little importance as long as it accom­
plishes its purpose.
Brief descriptions of the selected accidents
accompanied by the comments and recommen­
dations of the Bureau of Labor Standards’ safe­
ty specialist are given on the following pages.
Case Descriptions and Recommendations
1. A plumber was installing pipes in a cellar.
As he entered an unlighted area under a stair­
way, he stepped on a rusty nail protruding
from a piece of lumber.
(a) Before starting work, a plumber should

inspect the area in which he will work. He
should make a note of all existing hazards and,
where possible, correct or eliminate them.
Workmen should never enter unlighted areas
without flashlights or other lighting equipment.
(b) Good housekeeping is essential for safe­
ty, not only for plumbers but also for all other
construction workers and for householders as
well. Loose lumber should never be left lying
on floors or walkways.
(c) A basic safety rule is that all nails in
scrap lumber should be removed or bent into
the wood before the piece is discarded.
2. A helper was loading used lumber onto a
truck. A nail projecting from one of the boards
punctured his hand.

Projecting nails should be removed or bent
into the lumber as it is removed from service.




3. A plumber was installing pipe in a bath­
room. While he was crawling on the rough con­
crete, he bruised his knee and infection devel­
oped.

Knee pads probably would have prevented
this injury.

4. A helper was using a snake to free a
clogged sewer. The cable broke and cut his
thumb. Investigation disclosed that the cable
was frayed because of extended use.

All equipment should be inspected before it
is placed in service. In this case, an inspection
should have disclosed the frayed cable and it
should have been replaced.
5. A plumber was riding on top of a load of

pipe. During transit, the load shifted, throwing
him to the ground. Part of the load then fell
on him, striking his shoulder and arm. Inves­
tigation disclosed that the load had not been
secured against unexpected movements.
(a) Truckloads should be tied or otherwise

secured against unexpected movements during
transit.
(b) Employees should never ride on top of
the load. Instead, they should ride in the cab
of the truck or, if there is not sufficient room,
in a second vehicle.

6. A plumber was working in a ditch. A
stone fell from the bank and struck his arm.
Investigation disclosed that the stone had been
removed from the ditch and placed on the
bank. The weight of the stone gradually loos­
ened the dirt under it, permitting the stone to
fall.

Material removed from a ditch should be
piled at least 18 inches from the edge of the
ditch.
7. A plumber was using an electric drill on

a piece of metal which he was holding in his
hand. When the drill pierced the metal it lac­
erated his hand.

A drill should never be applied to hand-held
material. The material should be held in a
clamp or vise.
8. A plumber was using a portable vise fas­

16

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

tened to a joist. When he removed a fitting
from the vise, the vise pulled loose from the
joist and fell on his toes. Investigation dis­
closed that the plumber had neglected to fasten
the vise securely.
(a) Obviously the vise should have been

dam ped securely. The basic training of any
worker should develop an ability to recognize
hazards of this nature and emphasize the need
for proper precautions.
(b) Steel-toed safety shoes would have pre­
vented the injury.

9. A truck driver and a plumber's helper
were carrying a bathtub from the stockroom in
a warehouse to a truck. When the tub slipped
from the truck driver's hands, the helper lost
his grip and the tub fell, striking the helper's
knee.
(a) Mechanical equipment should be used for

heavy or large loads ivherever practicable. In
this case, the use of a hand truck to move the
tub would have been feasible.
(b) Training in material-handling operations
should emphasize taking and maintaining a
firm grip on the materials handled.

10. A plumber was working under a scaffold
being used by a brick mason. When a load of
concrete blocks was placed on the scaffold, the
scaffold collapsed, pinning the plumber under
it. Investigation disclosed that the scaffold had
been overloaded.
(a) Load lim its should be determined for

every scaffold. Adequate supervision should be
provided to assure that the limit is not ex­
ceeded.
(b) Whenever practicable, work assignments
should be planned to avoid anyone's having to
work in unprotected areas while other opera­
tions are being performed overhead.

11. A plumber was moving a piece of pipe.
It slipped through his hands, which were cov­
ered with oil, and fell on his foot.
(a) Employees should be carefully instructed
in the safe method of lifting heavy and large
objects. When their hands are oily or greasy,
they should never attem pt to lift objects.
(b) Workmen handling heavy objects should
wear steel-toed safety shoes.




12. A plumber was working on the ground
floor of a building while a carpenter was lay­
ing subflooring on the second floor. A board
slipped from the carpenter's hands, fell
through the joists, and struck the plumber on
the head.
(a) Whenever practicable, assignments
should be planned to avoid work in unprotected
areas while other operations are being per­
formed overhead. In this case, the plumbing
should have been delayed until the subflooring
on the second floor was completed.
(b) All construction workers should be en­
couraged to wear safety hats while they are
on the job.

13. A plumber attempted to lift a piece of
pipe which had a thin coating of oil on it. The
pipe slipped from his hands and dropped on his
foot. Investigation disclosed that the oil had
been placed on the pipe to prevent rusting.
(a) This is a particularly difficult hazard to

overcome. Gloves generally are not the answer,
because they become slippery when they absorb
oil. A common and fairly successful practice
in operations other than the piling of pipe is to
use a clean wiping rag as a hand pad in taking
a grip on the oily material.
(b) Employees engaged in this work should
wear steel-toed safety shoes.

14. A workman was using a hammer and
chisel to cut a length of cast-iron pipe. A sec­
tion of the pipe shattered and a small piece of
the pipe lodged in his eye.

Cast iron is brittle and very likely to break
or shatter ivhen struck. For this type of work,
goggles or protective face shields are neces­
sary.

15. An apprentice was using a hammer and
chisel to remove scale from a boiler. A piece
of rust from the boiler lodged in his eye.

For this type of work, goggles or other suit­
able eye protective devices are necessary.

16. A plumber was using a hammer and
chisel to cut through a concrete wall. A piece
of the chisel broke off and punctured the work­
man's knee. Investigation disclosed that the
head of the chisel was badly mushroomed and
the metal had crystallized.

ACCIDENT PREVENTION SUGGESTIONS

(a) All tools should be inspected frequently
on a regular schedule. Chisels with mush­
roomed heads should be removed from service
and should not be returned to service until they
are properly dressed.
(b) Employees engaged in this ivork should
be provided w ith, and required to wear, impact
goggles.
17. An employee was using an electric drill
on a pipe. A small piece of steel flew from the
pipe and lodged in his eye.

Power drills, both fixed and portable, fre­
quently throw off chips or sharp particles when
used on metal. Goggles or face shields should
always be worn while drilling metal.

18. A plumber was using a wrench to tighten
a pipe on a water heater. A piece of rust flew
from the pipe and lodged in his eye.
(a) Rust should be removed from any pipe

before the jaw s of a wrench are placed over it.
(b) Safe practice demands eye protection on
dll work of this type.

19. A plumber's helper was using a sledge
hammer to break a large stone so that it could
be removed from a ditch. A small piece of the
stone flew from the rock and lodged in the
helper's eye.

Employees engaged in this work should be
furnished with, and required to wear, protec­
tive goggles.

20. An apprentice was using a pocket knife
to cut linoleum. The blade of the knife closed
suddenly, cutting his finger.
Apprentices should be carefully instructed in
the safe performance of their duties. A springblade knife should never be used in this work;
instead, a one-piece knife, properly guarded,
should be used.

21. A plumber was operating a threading
machine. While he was adjusting a short piece
of pipe in the jaws of the machine, the front
of his overalls caught the switch, closing it.
As a result, the automatic jaws of the machine
closed and mashed his fingers.
The switch should be located or protected so
as to prevent unintentional contact with it.




17

22. A plumber pulled the belt of a well pump
to start it. When the pump started, his fingers
were caught between the belt and the pulley.
(a) This illustrates the need for guarding

all nip points, even on small belts of this type.
Had this pulley been properly guarded, nothing
more than a slight bruise or scratch would have
resulted.
(b) In any event, no belt should ever be
moved manually when the power is on. If the
motor will not start it, the power should be cut
off and an inspection made to determine the
trouble.

23. A plumber was using an electric drill
to remove a stud. The leg of his trousers
caught in the drill and, before he could open
the switch, the drill had lacerated his leg.

All power drills should be equipped with
“dead-man controls,” which will automatically
cut the power when the operator relaxes his
grip.

24. An apprentice was shoveling dirt from
a ditch which was 12 feet deep. The brace
holding the sides of the ditch broke, and the
ditch caved in, causing the employee a sprained
shoulder.

Investigation disclosed that the ditch was in
filled ground and that the soil was unstable.
The ditch was shored and braced, but in this
kind of soil it should have been sheet-piled for
maximum protection. The shoring probably
would have been inadequate to hold the soil
even if the brace had not failed.

25. A worker was helping to carry a bath­
tub up a stairway. His fingers were squeezed
between the wall and the tub and badly lacer­
ated. Infection developed. Investigation dis­
closed that he grasped the tub at the sides in­
stead of the end.
Careful instruction and close supervision are
necessary to prevent accidents of this type.
Workmen who are required to lift heavy or
large objects should be instructed in working
as a team. In this case, the workman should
have grasped the tub at the end instead of at
the sides.

26. A plumber was descending a ladder. As

18

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

he stepped to the floor, he slipped on some small
pieces of wood near the foot of the ladder and
fell against the wall, bruising his shoulder.
Investigation disclosed that the small pieces of
wood were waste material from carpentry oper­
ations and that the working surface had not
been cleaned when the carpenters completed
their work.

A case of poor housekeeping and inattention
to footing. A ll working crews should be re­
quired to clean up their own scrap. The plumb­
ing supervisor should have made certain the
working surface was clear before his man start­
ed work. Furthermore, anyone using a ladder
should make certain the surface at the base of
the ladder is clear before going up. In descend­
ing a ladder the handhold should never be re­
leased nor the full weight shifted from one foot
to the other until a firm footing, for the foot
taking the weight, is assured.

27. An apprentice was carrying a box of
supplies from a truck when he stepped in a
hole in the ground and fell, spraining his ankle.
Investigation disclosed that the workman could
not see the hole because he was carrying the
box in front of him.
(a) A ll plumbers should be carefully in­
structed in the safe method of handling mate­
rials. In this case, the workman should have
carried the box in such a position that he could
observe the surface on which he was walking.
(b) Before engaging in this work, an inspec­
tion should have been made of the surface.
Holes should have been filled in or covered by
an adequate walkway.

28. A plumbing superintendent stood on a
steel girder to direct the moving of a tank. He
fell from the girder and struck a pump 13 feet
below, experiencing multiple contusions and
lacerations.

A girder is not a safe working platform. In
this case, the superintendent probably could
have selected a safer position from which to
direct the operation or, if it was necessary to
stand on the girder, a lifeline could have been
used for his protection.

29. A plumber stood on a chair to hang a
one-half-inch pipe. When he stepped to the



edge of the chair, it tipped, throwing him to
the floor.

Chairs should never be used as working sur­
faces. A properly constructed scaffold or a
working platform should have been provided
for this work.

30. A plumber was sitting on the floor joists
installing copper pipe. He slipped and fell be­
tween the joists, cutting his arm on an electric
receptacle as he fell.

Employees should not be perm itted to work
from floor joists. Planks laid across the floor
joists would provide a suitable working surface.

31. An apprentice plumber was working on
the third floor of a house under construction.
He stepped backward and fell through an open­
ing which had been made for a stairway. He
fell to the basement and suffered multiple
bruises.

A ny tem porary opening in the floor of a
building under construction should be enclosed
by a guardrail and toeboard or should be cov­
ered until it is to be used.

32. A sewer was being installed for a new
home. A 10-inch plank had been placed between
the ground and the doorstep to permit con­
struction workers to cross the ditch which had
been dug for the sewer. As a plumber’s helper
was walking on the plank, a strong wind caused
him to lose his balance and he fell into the
ditch.

The walkway was entirely too narrow. Two
or more planks, cleated together, should be pro­
vided for the walkway.

33. An apprentice was standing on a ladder
installing a pipe. The ladder slipped and the
employee fell against a wall. Investigation dis­
closed that the ladder was neither equipped
with safety treads nor anchored at the top.
(a) All ladders should be equipped w ith safe­
ty treads and, if possible, anchored at the top.
(b) This accident emphasizes the importance
of training all workers to do their work safely.
Unless the journeyman practices safety in his
work, the apprentices assigned to him are likely
to adopt his unsafe habits.

ACCIDENT PREVENTION SUGGESTIONS

34. A plumber was standing on a nail keg
“roughing in” plumbing. He fell from the keg
and fractured his wrist.

Nail kegs should never he used as working
surfaces. A properly constructed scaffold or a
working platform, should have been provided
for this work.

35. A plumber stood on a sawhorse to solder
an overhead pipe. His foot slipped from the
sawhorse and he fell.

Sawhorses should never be used as working
surfaces. A properly constructed scaffold or a
working platform should be provided for this
type of work.

36. A plumber stepped on joists to reach a
ladder. He lost his balance and fell through
the joists to the floor below.

Workmen should not walk on joists. Ade­
quate walkways should be constructed by lay­
ing planks across the joists.

37. A helper tripped and fell down the stairs
in a new house. Investigation disclosed that the
steps had been covered with paper held in place
by fiberboard. A strip of paper near the top
of the stairs had not been fastened. It rolled
up and tripped the helper.
Temporary treads should always be fastened
in place. A regular and system atic inspection
of the premises would probably have revealed
this unsafe condition.

38. A plumber stepped on the rail of a stock
bin to get a piece of pipe from the top of the
bin. The rail loosened and the employee fell,
spraining his ankle.
(a) Stock bins should be located so they can
be reached from the floor.
(b) Where stock bins cannot be reached from

the floor, a working platform or a step ladder
should be provided.

39. A plumber was checking floor measure­
ments with the superintendent. He stepped
from a soil pipe to a nail keg which overturned
and threw him to the floor. Investigation dis­
closed that the area was littered with plumbing
supplies.
(a) Good housekeeping is essential to safety



19

in any operation. Plumbing supplies should be
safely stored in an orderly manner. Periodic
inspections and adequate supervision should be
maintained to enforce this rule.
(b) Construction workers should not use soil
pipes, nail kegs, boxes, sawhorses, chairs, or
other makeshifts as substitutes for adequate
ladders or working platforms.
In this case, the superintendent should have
ordered the place cleaned up and should have
stopped the plumber from climbing on the soil
pipe and keg. Supervisory indifference to haz­
ardous conditions encourages workmen to take
unnecessary chances.

40. A plumber erected a scaffold from used
lumber which he found at the job site. When
he mounted it, one of the planks broke and he
fell to the ground. Investigation disclosed the
plank to be badly split.

Lumber used in the construction of scaffolds
should be sound and straight-grained. Periodic
inspections and close supervision should be pro­
vided to enforce this rule.

41. As an apprentice was climbing a ladder,
a rung broke and he fell to the ground, bruising
his heel. Infection developed. Investigation dis­
closed that the ladder had been made at the
job site and the rung had split through a knot.
Lumber used in the construction of ladders
should be sound, straight-grained, and free
from knots. Regular inspections and adequate
supervision should be provided to enforce this
rule.

42. A plumber was on a scaffold installing
pipes, when he misstepped off the end, and fell
to the ground. Investigation showed no guard­
rail or toeboard on the scaffold.
Scaffolds should be constructed with guard­
rails and toeboards.

43. While walking across the floor of the
shop, a plumber stepped on a short piece of
pipe. The pipe rolled and the employee twisted
his back trying to maintain his balance. Inves­
tigation disclosed that a helper had cut the end
from a pipe and dropped it on the floor. It
had then rolled into the passageway.
All employees should be carefully instructed

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS
20
in the need for good housekeeping. In this case sure all workers know and follow safe-lifting
a scrap box placed near the work table might procedures.
had led to better housekeeping and might have
48. A plumber walked across the floor joists
prevented the accident.

44. A plumber was using a pipe wrench to
remove a union from a section of pipe. While
pulling on the wrench he placed his foot on a
second wrench which he was using to steady
the pipe. His foot slipped off the second wrench
and he strained his back.

Workmen should be carefully instructed in
the safe method of using hand tools. In this
case the plumber should have grasped a wrench
in each hand. If additional force teas neces­
sary, a second employee should have been as­
signed to hold the second wrench.

45. While he was kneeling, a plumber lifted
a cast-iron soil pipe and strained his back. In­
vestigation disclosed that the section of pipe
weighed 120 pounds.

Thorough instruction in the safe handling of
materials should be a part of the training given
every plumber. Even under the best conditions
a 120-pound lift generally should be a 2-man
operation; from a kneeling position, 120 pounds
is obviously too heavy for any man to lift.

46. A plumber on a scaffold attempted to lift
a section of soil pipe being handed up to him.
The section weighed approximately 120 pounds.
As he was pulling the pipe onto the scaffold, he
twisted his back.

Thorough instruction in safe handling of ma­
terials should be a part of the training given
every plumber. In this case a block and fall
probably should have been used to lift the
heavy pipe.
47. A plumber and his helper were lifting a

bathtub onto a truck. The helper set his end
down without warning, throwing the weight
onto the plumber. As a result, the plumber
strained his back.

Coordination of effort is essential for safety
whenever two or more persons are lifting to­
gether. One person in the team should signal
each move and the others should carefully fol­
low his instructions. Supervisors should make



to deliver a pot of hot lead. When he stepped
on a loose joist, it turned and he dropped the
pot. The lead splashed and burned his eye.
Investigation disclosed that the carpenters had
overlooked nailing the joist.

Workmen should never walk on floor joists.
A properly constructed walkway should be pro­
vided.

49. A plumber was running a lead joint in
a soil pipe. Water in the pipe caused the molten
lead to explode and the employee’s face and
head were severely burned.
All w ater and moisture should be removed
from the pipe before this work is started. Su­
pervisors should be responsible for determining
when the operation can be safely undertaken.

50. A plumber was using a wrench to tighten
a bolt on a hanger. When the wrench slipped,
the workman brushed against a hot valve and
burned his arm. Investigation disclosed that
the employee had not adjusted the jaws of the
wrench properly.

Thorough instruction in the safe method of
using hand tools should be a part of the train­
ing given every plumber. Wrenches should be
properly adjusted before any pressure is ap­
plied.

51. While a plumber was engaged in wiping
a joint, some hot solder fell from it and burned
his arm.

Sleeves of leather or fireproof duck should be
worn in this work.

52. A plumber was adjusting the gas burn­
ers on a steam table. When he struck a match
and opened the gas line, an explosion occurred.
Investigation disclosed that the manufacturer
of the steam table had neglected to place a cap
on the end of the gas line.
All new equipment should be carefully in­
spected before it is placed in service.

53. A plumber’s helper was carrying hot
lead in a ladle. He tripped over a piece of

ACCIDENT PREVENTION SUGGESTIONS

lumber and fell, spilling the lead into his shoes.
Investigation disclosed that the lumber was left
by carpenters who had just completed laying
the floor.
(a) Good housekeeping is essential to safety
in any operation . The piece of lumber should
have been removed from the working surface
before the helper engaged in this work.
(b) The use of personal protective devices
such as gloves, goggles, etc., is desirable for
workmen handling hot lead.

54. A plumber was melting lead. When he
dropped a piece of cold lead into the pot, hot
lead splashed from the melting pot into his eye.

Employees engaged in this ivork should wear
protective goggles or face shields .

55. A plumber was carrying a can of hot
tar up a ladder. He tipped the can and spilled
the hot tar on both hands.

Employees should never attem pt to carry ob­
jects up ladders. A hand line should have been
used to raise the hot tar.

56. A plumber poured molten lead into a
ladle which had small beads of moisture on it.
An explosion resulted and the plumber's face
was burned.
To eliminate moisture, ladles should be pre­
heated before molten metal is poured into them.

57. When a foreman plumber entered a well
to set a pump, he was overcome by gas fumes.
Two men attempted to rescue him but during
the rescue they dropped him back into the well.
The foreman suffered a sprained and bruised
back.

A test for gas should be made before any
workman enters a well or other confined space.
Safe practice dictates that a supplied-air res­
pirator should be used in any contaminated




21

area or in any confined space which has not
been tested for the presence of gas.

58. An apprentice was working in the base­
ment of a new house. Fumes from an open
salamander caused congestion of his respira­
tory passages. Investigation disclosed that the
basement was closed and no ventilation had
been provided.
Salamanders should never be used in closed
or unventilated areas.

59. An employee was using a hammer to
fasten a pipe hanger into place in the basement.
While he was doing this, the hammer jarred
several pieces of plaster loose from cracks in
the subflooring. The plaster fell, burning the
workman's eyes.

Goggles are desirable for eye protection in
any form of construction work and are partic­
ularly important on overhead construction
work.

60. A plumber suffered flash burns of both
eyes while working near arc welding opera­
tions.
(a) Welding operations should be properly
shielded or enclosed.
(b) Employees tvorking near arc ivelding
operations should be provided with, and re­
quired to wear, protective goggles.

61. A plumber received a slight shock while
using an electric hammer in an overhead posi­
tion. This shock caused him to relax his grip,
and the hammer fell, striking him on the head.
Subsequent inspection of the tool revealed a
short in the wiring.
(a) All electrical tools should be effectively
grounded.
(b) All tools, electrical or not, should be
given periodic inspections on a regular sched­
ule and should be withdrawn from service if
they are defective in any way.

22

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

A ppendix— Statistical T ables

T able

1.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by nature of
injury and occupation of injured
Nature of injury

All workers

J ournej/men

Apprentices

Superintendents,
foremen

Helpers

Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2
Total........................................- ...............
Amputations, enucleations....................
Bruises, contusions----- ------- -----------Without infection............................
With infection.................................
Burns, scalds...............
—
Chemical bums......... ................-..........Cuts, lacerations.................
Without infection............................
With infection------------------------Foreign bodies, not elsewhere classified.
Fractures.................... ..............................
Hernias............... ......................................
Industrial diseases...................................Strains, sprains........................................
Other------ -----------------------------------Unclassified; insufficient data..............

2,719
12
467
404
63
195
30
527
405
122
170
268
78
40
880
22
30

100.0
.4
17.4
15.1
2.3
7.3
1.1
19.6
15.1
4.5
6.3
10.0
2.9
1.5
32.7
.8

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.
T able 2.

2,040
11
343
296
47
151
22
386
289
97
132
206
53
29
668
19
20

100.0
.5
17.0
14.7
2.3
7.5
1.1
19.1
14.3
4.8
6.5
10.2
2.6
1.4
33.2
.9

245

100.0

49
42
7
18
1
43
36
7
18
23
10
3
75
2
3

20.3
17.4
2.9
7.4
.4
17.8
14.9
2.9
7.4
9.5
4.1
1.2
31.1
.8

402
1
70
61
9
24
7
95
77
18
19
37
13
7
123
1
5

100.0
.3
17.6
15.3
2.3
6.0
1.8
23.9
19.4
4.5
4.8
9.3
3.3
1.8
30.9
.3

32

100.0

5
5
2
3
3
1
2
2
1
14
2

16.7
16.7
6.7
10.0
10.0
3.3
6.7
6.7
3.3
46.6

* Percents are based on classified cases only.

—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 1 3 States,1 1 9 4 9 , classified by nature of
injury and location of accident
Number of accidents occurring—
Nature of injury

On floors

On ground
(except
excavations)

On ladders

In ditches
or other
excavations

Under
houses

On steps
or
stairs

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2
Total..........................- .................................................... 246 100.0
Amputations, enucleations_____________________
54 22.3
Bruises, contusions.............................................. ..........
Without infection........................... ........... ..........
43 17.8
11 4.5
With infection____________________________
7
2.9
Burns, scalds_________________________________
2
.8
Chemical bums_______________________________
Cuts, lacerations.......................................................—
85 35.1
Without infection........................................ ..........
69 28.5
With infection......... ............................................16
6.6
4
1.7
Foreign bodies, not elsewhere classified__________
10 4.1
Fractures..........................................................................
6
2.5
Hernias______________________________________
Industrial diseases____________________________
74 30.6
Strains, sprains................... ..........................................
Other_______________________________________
4
Unclassified; insufficient data___________________

112 100.0
17
15
2

15.2
13.4
1.8

26
24
2
12
1
56

23.2
21.4
1.8
10.7
.9
50.0

1Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




102 100.0
27
24
3
4
6
5
1
21
2
42

26.5
23.6
2.9
3.9
5.9
4.9
1.0
20.6
2.0
41.1

101 100.0
1
1.0
19 18.8
17 16.8
2 2.0
6 5.9
14 13.9
11 10.9
3
3.0
1
1.0
17 16.8
1 1.0
2
2.0
40 39.5

97 100.0

77

100.0

18
11
7
3
2
14
6
8
10
2
16
30
2

11
11

14.5
14.5

4
2
2
6
3
52
1

5.3
2.7
2.6
7.9
3.9
68.4

2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

18.6
11.4
7.2
3.1
2.1
14.4
6.2
8.2
10 3
2.1
16.5
30.8
2.1

23

APPENDIX — STATISTICAL TABLES

T able 3. —Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by nature of

injury and activity of injured

Activity when injured
Nature of injury

Using hand
tools

Walking,
stepping, etc.

Carrying
objects

Lifting
objects

Placing
objects

Other

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2
Total............................................................ ............... ..
Amputations, enucleations_____________________
Bruises, contusions........................................................
Without infection__ ______________________
With infection........................................................
Burns, scalds..................................................................
Chemical burns_______________________________
Cuts, lacerations.............................................................
Without infection.................................. ................
With infection......... ...............................................
Foreign bodies, not elsewhere classified__________
Fractures................................................. ........................
Hernias______________________________________
Industrial diseases____________________________
Strains, sprains..............................................................
Other_______________________________________
Unclassified; insufficient data___ _______________

623 100.0
4
.6
110 17.8
95 15.4
2.4
15
47
7.6
9
1.5
150 24.2
123 19.8
4.4
27
108 17.4
54
8.7
1.0
6
1
.2
126 20.4
4
.6
4

239 100.0
47
38
9
2
60
52
8
1
23
2
102
2

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.

T able

19.8
16.0
3.8
.8
25.4
22.0
3.4
.4
9.7
.8
43.1

481 100.0
1
.2
48 10.1
46
9.7
2
.4
4
.8
35
7.4
6.3
30
5
1.1
2
.4
38
8.0
44
9.2
304 63.9
5

245 100.0
43
38
5
2
21
16
5
26
16
134
3

118 100.0
1
.9
32 27.6
29 25.0
3 2.6
2
1.7
17 14.7
14 12.1
3 2.6
2
1.7
24 20.7
3 2.6
1
.9
34 29.2
2

17.8
15.7
2.1
.8
8.7
6.6
2.1
10.7
6.6
55.4

345
3
55
52
3
85
15
59
42
17
20
34
4
7
55
4
4

100.0
.9
16.1
15.2
.9
24.8
4.4
17.3
12.3
5.0
5.9
10.0
1.2
2.1
16.1
1.2

2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

4.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,11949, classified by part of body
injured and occupation of injured
Part of body injured

All workers

Journeymen

Apprentices

Helpers

Superintendents,
foremen

Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2 Number Percent2 Number Percent1
Total............................................................................. .......... 2,719
401
Head..........................................-...............................................
274
Eye.....................................................................................
Brain or skull_________________________________
32
Other________________________________________
95
802
Trunk------- --------------------------------------------------------Chest, lungs, ribs, etc............ ........................................
107
Back..........................— ...................................................
504
96
Abdomen...........................................................................
Shoulder____________ ______ _____ ________
66
29
Other...........................................- ....................................
671
Upper extremities-------------- ----------------------------------Arm_______ ____ _______ — --------------------------138
262
Hand____ ____ _______________________________
Finger ______________________________________
271
706
Lower extremities.................................................... ...........
284
Leg........ .................................................... .......... ...........
310
Foot......................... ..........................................................
112
Toe...................................... ............. ........................... ..
123
Body—general...... ...................................................................
16
I T f if ’la fw a ifip .d ‘ i n s n f lf ip .i f v n t H a t ft

100.0
14.8
10.1
1.2
3.5
29.7
4.0
18.6
3.6
2.4
1.1
24.8
5.1
9.7
10.0
26.1
10.5
11.5
4.1
4.6

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




2,040
300
206
25
69
606
85
385
64
52
20
509
110
201
198
523
218
230
75
93
9

100.0
14.8
10.2
1.2
3.4
29.7
4.1
18.8
3.2
2.6
1.0
25.1
5.4
10.0
9.7
25.8
10.7
11.4
3.7
4.6

245
42
29
2
11
70
9
40
13
5
3
59
5
25
29
63
19
31
13
10
1

100.0
17.2
11.9
.8
4.5
28.7
3.7
16.5
5.3
2.0
1.2
24.2
2.0
10.2
12.0
25.8
7.8
12.7
5.3
4.1

402
58
38
5
15
112
11
72
15
9
5
98
20
34
44
112
42
47
23
17

6

2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

100.0
14.6
9.5
1.3
3.8
28.2
2.8
18.0
3.8
2.3
1.3
24.7
5.0
8.6
11.1
28.2
10.6
11.8
5.8
4.3

32
1
1

100.0
3.2
3.2

14
2
7
4
1
5
3
2
8
5
2
1
3
1

45.2
6.5
22.6
12.9
3.2
16.1
9.6
6.5
25.8
16.1
6.5
3.2
9.7

24

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

T able 5. —Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by part of body

injured and location of accident

Number of accidents occurring—
Part of body injured

On floors

On ground
(except
excavations)

On ladders

In ditches
or other
excavations

Under
houses

On steps
or
stairs

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2
Total.................................................................................
Head.................................................................................
Eye_____________________________________
Brain or skull........... ................................_............
Other.......................................................................
Trunk...............................................................................
Chest, lungs, ribs, etc................................ ..........
Back.........................................................................
Abdomen________________________________
Shoulder...................................................................
Other___________________________________
Upper extremities...........................................................
Arm..........................................................................
Hand.......................................................... ..............
Finger.......................................................................
Lower extremities..........................................................
Leg.............................................................................
F oot..................................... ..................................
Toe_________________________ ____________
Body—genera]...............................................................
Unclassified; insufficient data-__________________

246 100.0
15 6.1
7
2.9
2
.8
2.4
6
62 25.2
14 5.7
34 13.9
6
2.4
1.2
3
5 2.0
37 15.0
12 4.9
14
5.6
4.5
11
126 51.3
52 21.1
74 30.2
6 2.4

112 100.0
2
1.8
2
32
4
22
2
2
2
11
2
5
4
65
19
45
1
2

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.

T a b le

1.8
28.6
3.6
19.6
18
1.8
1.8
9.8
1.8
4.4
3.6
58.0
17.0
40.1
.9
1.8

102 100.0
2
2.0
1
1.0
1
1.0
33 32.7
5.9
6
16 15.9
2
2.0
7
6.9
2
2.0
23 22.8
14 13.9
8
7.9
1
1.0
37 36.6
17 16.8
20 19.8
6
5.9
1

97 100.0
19 19.8
12 12.5
2.1
2
5.2
5
28 29.2
2.1
2
23 24.0
3.1
3
14 14.6
7
7.4
6.2
6
1
1.0
22 22.9
20
2.8
2.1
2
13 13.5
1

101 100.0
7.9
8
2
2.0
6
5.9
40 39.7
5 5.0
24 23.8
2
2.0
7
6.9
2 2.0
18 17.8
3
3.0
7
6.9
7.9
8
28 27.7
13 12.8
12 11.9
3
3.0
7
6.9

77
1

100.0
1.3

1
32
2
20
3
5
2
10
3
3
4
29
9
19
1
4
1

1.3
42.0
2.6
26.3
3.9
6.6
2.6
13.2
3.9
3.9
5.4
38.2
11.8
25.1
1.3
5.3

2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

6.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,11949, classified by part of body
injured and activity of injured
Activity when injured—
Part of body injured

Using hand
tools

Walking,
stepping, etc.

Lifting
objects

Carrying
objects

Placing
objects

Other

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2
Total.................................................................................
Head............... ................................................................
Eye..........................................................................
Brain or skull- ___________________________
Other............................................. .......................
Trunk.......................... .....................................................
Chest, lungs, ribs, etc......................................... .
Back.......................................................................
Abdomen.................................................................
Shoulder.................................................................
O ther................................. ....................................
Upper extremities........................................................
Arm. ........................................................................
Hand................... ...................................... ...........
Finger___________________________________
Lower extremities............. ............................................
Leg...........................................................................
Foot__________________ __________________
Toe_............................ ............................................
Body—general................... ...........................................
Unclassified; insufficient data......................................

623 100.0
183 29.5
161 25.9
3
5
19 3.1
110 17.7
4.0
25
63 10.1
1.3
8
11
1.8
3
.5
229 36.8
6.4
40
82 13.2
107 17.2
88 14.2
7.8
48
25
4.0
15 2.4
1.8
11
2

239 100.0
9
3.8
1
.4
4
17
4
1.7
43 18.0
12
5.0
19
8.0
1
.4
4
1.7
7 2.9
15
6.3
3.3
8
4
1.7
3
1.3
156 65.2
49 20.5
105 43.9
2
.8
16
6.7

A rkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




481 100.0
2.3
11
4
.8
4
2
5
1.1
315 66.0
14
2.9
225 47.2
52 10.9
3.3
16
8
1.7
70 14.6
3.1
15
27
5.6
5.9
28
80 16.7
28
5.8
24
5.0
28
5.9
2
.4
3

245 100.0
6
2.5
1
.4
5
2.1
127 52.5
11
4.5
79 32.8
7.4
18
16
6.6
3
1.2
26 10.7
3
1.2
14
5.8
9
3.7
81 33.5
23
9.5
37 15.3
21
8.7
2
.8
3

118 100.0
5 4.3
1.7
2
2
1.7
1
.9
35 29.9
8.5
10
19 16.2
3.4
4
1
.9
1
.9
36 30.8
6.0
7
9.4
11
18 15.4
37 31.6
12 10.3
6.8
8
17 14.5
3.4
4
1

2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

345
79
49
1
29
55
11
35
6
3
107
16
53
38
65
23
31
11
37
2

100.0
23.0
14.2
.3
8.5
16.0
3.2
10.2
1.7
.9
31.2
4.7
15.4
11.1
19.0
6.7
9.1
3.2
10.8

APPENDIX — STATISTICAL TABLES

25

T a ble 7.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,11949, classified by part of body

injured and nature of injury

Part of body injured

T o ta l............................................................
Head ....................................... -............ .
Eye_____________________________
Brain or skull____________________
Other___________________________
Trunk _ ______________________
Chest, lungs, ribs, etc.____________
Rack
__ _ __ ______
Abdomen________________________
Shoulder ________________________
_ ____
O ther
_ _____
Upper extremities.____________________
Arm
_ _______________________
Hand
__ _ _ ___________
Fjnger
_ _ __________
T,OW extrem ities
f*r
_ ___
_____
Leg
_______________________
F<"»r>t
- - _ - - ___
T ne
_
__________
Body—general
_ _
Unclassified* insufficient data
..

Nature of injury
Foreign
Total Ampu­
Unclas­
Indus­
num­ tations, Bruises,
sified,
Cuts, bodies,
ber enu­ con­ Burns, Chem­ lacera­ not else­ Frac­ Hernias trial Strains, Other insuffi­
ical
dis­ sprains
of
scalds burns tions where tures
cient
clea­ tusions
eases
in­
classi­
data
juries tions
fied
12
22
2,719
467
30
527
170
78
40
30
195
268
880
1
6
3
7
3
35
401
59
25
76
170
16
1
1
1
12
23
274
25
170
35
6
1
32
8
3
20
1
1
15
2
3
2
95
24
31
16
3
802
68
2
6
3
10
78
47
585
1
4
2
38
4
107
30
28
1
1 478
2
6
504
16
1
1
1
2
96
78
13
1
1
8
7
66
49
4
2
4
2
29
17
133
10
62
671
4
297
5
2
5
85
68
36
42
138
16
20
24
262
48
3
39
99
23
4
2
2
42
1
1
49
10
7
2
3
271
156
42
1
195
706
142
8
30
3
125
202
1 117
1
284
5
47
3
18
92
45
310
25
90
5
36
109
1
33
112
5
2
71
1
4
1
123
36
41
2
5
23
10
1
5
16
10

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




to

T a b le 8 . —Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by type of accident and agency of injury

Oi

Agency of inury

Total...................................................................... 2,719
375
190
Sharp-edged or rough objects____
97
Other objects___________________
93
Rubbing against objects_____________
90
Stepping on nails, wires, etc._________
88
Other______________________________
7
Struck by moving objects................................ 751
Falling objects__________ ___________ 335
From hands of workers____ ______ 185
From other sources______________ 150
Flying objects______________________
247
Small particles__________ _____ 232
Other_______________ __________
15
Hand-ODerated or -wielded objects___
150
Other______________________________
19
Caught in, on, or between. ______________ 147
Moving parts of equipment________ .
25
Rolling or falling objects_____________
39
Moving equipment and other objects___
32
Objects being handled_______________
44
Other objects__________________ ___
7
Falls—on same level.......................................... 125
Due to slips________________________
59
Other................................. ....................... .
66
Falls—from elevations______________ ___ 194
From ladders_______________________
68
From scaffolds, stagings, etc_________
29
From other elevations_____________ .
97
Slips and stumbles (not falls).......................... 127
593
Overexertion due to_____________________
Carrying objects____________________ 111
Lifting objects_______________ _______ 328
Pulling or pushing objects____ _______ 103
Other operations____________________
51
Contact with extreme temperatures_______ 194
Hot liquids_________________________
118
Flames___________ _________________
71
Other______________________________
5
Other types___ _______________________ 157
Unclassified; insufficient data..........................
56

70 123 245 146
1 9 44 24
3 14
8
3
4
2
6
10
1 6 22 13
4
2
1
4
163 31 62 70
6
3 20
29
6
2 17
25
1 3
4
1 2
3
1 2
3
129 ~_24~ 58 47
1
1
2
17
8
9
3
3

80
15
5
1
4
7
1
2

1

3
o

5

828 387 115 101 51 174 294 101
1 jp 7~
6
100 66
1 5 4 21 16
8
5
62 39
13
1
3
8
5
2
30 18
1
5
5
3
3
32 21
3
1
34 24
7
8
1
4
3
215
198
125
73
6
6
9
2
45
1
14
26
4
18
8
10
6
1
1
4
7
435
105
276
23
31

2
2

132
117
67
50
5
5
8
2
22
7
11
4
7
4
3
4
1
1
2
6
149
18
105
15
11
1
1

12
12
12

4
4
5
2
3

23
23
14
9

8
8
7
1

8
1
3
4
1
1
1

11
4
7
1
1

1
1
92
33
48
1
10

63
17
40
2
4

40
38
25
13
1
1
1

4
1
3
1

13
1
1
1

8

96
30
57
5
4
1

1
1

64
32
32
132
57
20

1

55

93
4
73
16
1
1
3

55

1
54

19 188 183 164 132
5
90
1
13
1
9
4
1
2
1
74
1
2
183
32
11
27
7
11
20
2
172
172
2
2
1

7
7

4

37
16
21
82
41
8
33
3

19
13
6
45
15
12
18

31
3
12
16
1
1
3

8
3
5
5

1
4
1

105

1

1

59

58
2
2
56
56
56

5
3
2
2
1
1
2
1
1

188
118
70

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.



60

5
1

1
35
7
26
2

1
O

60

£©
O

57 454
0 117
0 87
2 47
4 40
23
0
1
9 93
2 68
1 27
1 41
8
4
4
2
8
5
9
33 52
21
25
32
1 4
2
3 34
2 14
1 20
3 51
9
1 7
2 35
9
3 61
0
1 46
2
5
4
3

Unclassified;
insufficient data

T3
2
o

u
©
rO
o

Vehicles

2
©
§
W

j Chips, splinters

m
1 1 1
O

S
■g

O
Q
o
o

'S
o
H

j Chemicals

H
m

00

I

Lumber stock

1

Bodily motion

<.
p5
£

Foreign bodies not
elsewhere classffied

'cS
O

56

3
34
56

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

Total
number
of
acci­
dents

Hot substances

Accident type

Working surfaces

Hand tools

Plumbing fixtures

27

APPENDIX — STATISTICAL TABLES

T a ble 9.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,11949, classified by type of accident

and occupation of injured

Accident type

All workers

Apprentices

Superintendents,
foremen

Helpers

Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2 Number Percent 21 Number Percent 2

Total......................................................................................... 2,719
Striking against objects..........................................................
375
190
Sharp-edged or rough objects................................
97
Other objects_____________ ________________
93
Rubbing against objects.................. ..............................
90
88
7
Struck by moving objects...................... - ----------------751
Falling objects.................................................................
335
From hands of workers------------ ------------------185
From other sources......................... ..... ................
150
Flying objects................................................................ 247
Small particles........................ .......................... .
232
Other_______________________________ _
15
H and-operated or -w ielded objects
150
Other_____________________________
19
Caught in, on, or between....................................................
147
Moving parts of equipment__________
25
Rolling or falling objects_________ ______________
39
Moving equipment and other objects_____________
32
O bjects being handled
44
7
___
Other objects______________________
Falls on samel evel............. .................................................-125
Due to slips..............................................................
59
Other
___
66
Falls from elevations................................................. ............
194
From ladders........................................................ ........-68
29
From scaffolds, stagings, etc.........................................
From other elevations.................... ............................-97
Slips and stumbles (not falls)------------------------- -------127
593
Overexertion due to.................................................................
111
Carrying objects..............................................................
328
Lifting objects_______ _________________________
103
Pulling or pushing objects...............— ............ . .......
Other operations................................................ ...........
51
194
Contact with extreme temperatures.....................................
118
Hot liquids............................. ............................ ...........
Flames__ ____ __________________
71
O ther
_
__
_ _ _
___
5
157
Other types...............................................- ............................
56
Unclassified; insufficient data_______________ _______

100.0
14.1
71
3.6
3.5
3.4
33
.3
28.1
12.5
6.9
5.6
9.3
8.7
.6
5.6
.7
5.5
.9
1.5
1.2
1.6
.3
4.7
2.2
2.5
7.3
2.6
1.1
3.6
4.8
22.3
4.2
12.3
3.9
1.9
7.3
4.4
2.7
.2
5.9

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




Journeymen

2,040
294
159
80
79
72
58
5
536
230
127
103
183
173
10
109
14
105
20
28
22
29
6
107
50
57
157
55
25
77
101
434
70
247
84
33
150
89
57
4
113
43

100.0
14.7
7.9
3.9
4.0
3.6
29
.3
26.7
11.4
6.3
5.1
9.1
8.6
.5
5.5
.7
5.3
1.0
1.4
1.1
1.5
.3
5.4
2.5
2.9
7.9
2.8
1.3
3.8
5.1
21.7
3.5
12.3
4.2
1.7
7.5
4.4
2.9
.2
5.7

245
23
7
2
5
5
10
1
85
38
19
19
27
25
2
18
2
14
1
3
5
5

100.0
9.5
2.9
.8
2.1
2.1
4.1
.4
35.3
15.8
7.9
7.9
11.2
10.4
.8
7.5
.8
5.8
.4
1.2
2.1
2.1

6
3
3
15
5
1
9
7
56
11
31
7
7
18
12
5
1
17
4

2.5
1.2
1.3
6.2
2.1
.4
3.7
2.9
23.2
4.6
12.8
2.9
2.9
7.5
5.0
2.1
.4
7.1

402
56
24
15
9
12
20

100.0
14.2
6.1
3.8
2.3
3.0
5.1

125
63
37
26
36
33
3
23
3
26
4
7
4
10
1
11
5
6
16
7
2
7
18
94
29
44
11
10
24
15
9

31.5
15.8
9.3
6.5
9.1
8.3
.8
5.8
.8
6.6
1.0
1.8
1.0
2.5
.3
2.8
1.3
1.5
4.1
1.8
.5
1.8
4.6
23.8
7.3
11.2
2.8
2.5
6.1
3.8
2.3

25
7

6.3

2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

32
2

100.0
6.7

1
1
5
4
2
2
1
1

3.4
3.3
16.7
13.4
6.7
6.7
3.3
3.3

2
1
1

6.7
3.4
3.3

1
1

3.3
3.3

6
1
1
4
1
9
1
6
1
1
2
2

20.0
3.3
3.3
13.4
3.3
29.9
3.3
20.0
3.3
3.3
6.7
6.7

2
2

6.7

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS
28
T able 10.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by type of
accident and location of accident
Number of accidents occurring—
Accident type

On floors

On ground
(except
excavations)

On ladders

In ditches
or other
excavations

On steps
or
stairs

Under
houses

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2
Total......... .......................................................................
Striking against objects................... ............................
Bumping against....................................................
Other objects____________________ ___
Struck by moving objects. . . __________________
Flying objects____________________________
Small particles__________________ ___
Other_______________________________
Hand-operated or -wielded objects_________
Other____________________________________
Caught in, on, or between_________________ ____
Moving parts of equipment________________
Rolling or falling objects__________________
Moving equipment and other objects________
Objects being handled_____________________
Other objects_____________________________
Falls on same level........................................................
Due to slips.............................................................
Other___________________________________
Falls from elevations.....................................................
From ladders_____________________________
From other elevations_____________________
Slips and stumbles (not falls)......................................
Overexertion due to.......................................................
Carrying objects__________________________
Lifting objects_________________ __________
Pulling or pushing objects_________________
Other operations_ ________________________
Contact with extreme temperatures_____________
Hot liquids_________ _____________________
Flames_____________________________ ___
Other ty p es.________________________________
t- *
Unclassified; insufficient data___________________

246 100.0
88 36.2
8.2
20
11
4.5
9
3.7
15 6.1
51 21.1
2
.8
23
9.4
9
3.7
7 2.9
2
.8
10 4.1
9
3.7
1
.4
4
1.6
3
1

1
1
43
15
28
20
20
32
16
2
6
5
3
5
4
1
14
2

112 100.0
29 26.1
7
6.3
4
3.6
3
2.7
4
3.6
18 16.2
8
4
2
2

.4
.4
.4
17.6
6.1
11.5
8.2
8.2
13.1
6.6
.8
2.6
2.0
1.2
2.0
1.6
.4
5.7

1
19
12
7
7
7
35
12
3
1
3
5

17.1
10.8
6.3
6.3
6.3
31.6
10.8
2.7
.9
2.7
4.5

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




1.0

1

2
2

2.0
2.0

68
68

66.7
66.7

14
4

13.7
3.9

3
4
4

2.9
3.9
3.9

3
1

22.1
2.0
19.1

1

.9

17.2
10.2
2.0
8.2
4.0
3.0
1.0
2.0

22
2
19

.9
2.7
.9

1.2

101 100.0
9
9.1
5 5.1
3 3.1
2 2.0
2 2.0
2 2.0
17
10
2
8
4
3
1
2

7.2
3.6
1.8
1.8

1
3
1

102 100.0
7
6.9
3
2.9
3
2.9
4
4.0

2.9

1

1.0

5
2
3
3
3
9
21
1
8
12
6
4
2
7
2

1.0

5.1
2.0
3.1
3.0
3.0
9.1
21.2
1.0
8.1
12.1
6.1
4.1
2.0
7.1

97 100.0
25 26.1
20 20.9
7.3
7
13 13.6
5.2
5
15
6
2
4
7
7
1
1
2

15.6
6.2
2.1
4.1
7.4
7.4

77
2
2
2

100.0
2.6
2.6
2.6

6
6
4
2

7.9
7.9
5.3
2.6

1

1.3

1

1.3

3
2

18
18
14
28
24
2
2

3.9
2.6
1.3
23.7
23.7
18.4
36.9
31.7
2.6
2.6

4

5.3

1.0
1.0

1

2.1
1.1

1

1.0

1
1

1.0
1.0

1

1.0

1

1.0

1

1.0

14
5
8

14.6
5.2
8.4

3
2

3.1
2.1

34

35.5

1

1

1

1

2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

1.0

1.0

1

29
11.-— Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by type of
accident and activity of injured
APPENDIX — STATISTICAL TABLES

T a ble

Activity when injured—
Accident type

Using hand
tools

Walking,
stepping, etc.

Lifting
objects

Carrying
objects

Placing
objects

Other

Num- Per- Num- Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2
Total................... ............................................
Striking against objects................................
Bumping against...................— ..........
Sharp-edged or rough objects —
Other objects..................................
Rubbing against objects.......................
Stepping on nails, wires, etc...............
Other................................... ....................
Struck by moving objects. ..................... ..
Falling objects........................................
From hands of workers............
From other sources.......................
Flying objects.............................. ..........
Small particles------ ---------------Other_______________________
Hand-operated or -wielded objects...
Other........................................................
Caught in, on, or between...........................
Moving parts of equipment.................
Rolling or falling objects......................
Moving equipment and other objects
Objects being handled................ .........
Other objects..........................................
Falls—on same level.....................................
Due to slips______________________
Other........................................................
Falls—from elevations................................
From ladders___ ________________
From scaffolds, stagings, etc.............
From other elevations...........................
Slips and stumbles (not falls)............. ........
Overexertion...................................................
Contact with extreme temperatures_____
Hot liquids..................... ........................
Flames___________ _______________
Other............................... ........................
Other types....................................................
Unclassified; insufficient data......................

623 100.0
68 11.1
53
8.6
4.2
26
4.4
27
2.5
15
332
42
20
22
161
158
3
126
3
25
5
5
13
2
13
6
7
11
4
7
4
95
45
28
16
1
19
11

54.2
6.9
3.3
3.6
26.2
25.7
.5
20.6
.5
4.1
.8
.8
2.2
.3
2.1
1.0
1.1
1.8
.7
1.1
.7
15.5
7.4
4.6
2.6
.2
3.1

239 100.0
78 33.1
23
9.7
9 3.8
5.9
14
4
1.7
46 19.6
5
2.1
11
4.7
5
2.2
2.2
5
1
.4
1
.4
1
.4
4
1.7
2
.8
2
25
17
8
48
11
7
30
45

.8
10.6
7.2
3.4
20.3
4.7
3.0
12.6
19.1

2
2

.8
.8

25
3

10.6

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




481 100.0
22
4.6
13
2.7
1.4
7
1.3
6
1.3
6
3
.6

245 100.0
7.4
18
2.5
6
2
.8
4
1.7
2.1
5
7
2.8

118 100.0
12 10.2
3.4
4
2
1.7
2
1.7
6.0
7
1
.8
40
37
28
9
2
2
1

34.0
31.5
23.9
7.6
1.7
1.7
.8

17
2
7
8

14.4’
1.7
5.9
6.8

5
1
4
7
2
3
2
4
28
2
1
1

4.2
.8
3.4
5.9
1.7
2.5
1.7
3.4
23.7
1.7
.9
.8

3

2.5

86
75
62
13
4
3
1
4
3
17
2
4
1
10

18.0
15.8
13.1
2.7
.8
.6
.2
.8
.6
3.6
.4
.8
.2
2.2

56
52
49
3

23.0
21.4
20.2
1.2

3
1
7
2
5

1.2
.4
2.9
.8
2.1

8
3
5
5

1.7
.6
1.1
1.0

15
6
9
7

6.2
2.5
3.7
2.9

5
8
324
4
1
3

1.0
1.7
67.8
.8
.2
.6

7
26
111
2
2

2.9
10.7
45.7
.8
.8

4
3

.8

1
2

.4

2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

345
40
16
13
3
19
3
2
74
34
7
27
30
24
6
7
3
51
13
5
28
4
1
10
3
7
23
5
2
16
9
19
87
54
32
1
27
5

100.0
11.8
4.7
3.8
.9
5.6
.9
.6
21.8
10.0
2.1
7.9
8.8
7.0
1.8
2.1
.9
15.0
3.8
1.5
8.2
1.2
.3
2.9
.9
2.0
6.8
1.5
.6
4.7
2.6
5.6
25.6
15.9
9.4
.3
7.9

T a b le

12.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by type of accident and hazardous working w
condition
°
Hazardous working condition

65
2
2

41
14
14
3
11

1

2

1

10
2
8
40
17
23
5
2
2

5

1
1
2
1
1
1
1

£

2
1
1

12

8
3
3
2
3

39
25
14
42
9
16
17
41
2
1
1
67
5
61
1
3

4
1
3
33
8
15
10

63
1
1
1

60
55
35
35
20

4
4
4

5
2
2
3

7
7
23
23
4
4
23
1
1

■©
g
O

'3
o
H

42 27 25 333
38~ 3~ 2 49
1 15
17
2
17
2
2
1 13
19
34
1
2
1
9 129
2
1
7
1
7
129
129
2
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1

5
5
2
2
17

6
1
5
2
1
1
1
1

£tD

C
D
£
3

C
O
T3
c3
a
8
a
W

=181

44
12
1
1
11

36 24
36 ’
14
1
13
22

123

4

123
123

4
4

oIP

10
1
9

J
O

48 162 160
1 IT 90
1 9
1
8
1
1
2 80
1
1
2 38
32
32
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
4
1
36
16
19

10
1
9

65
4
60

1
2 103
1 102
1
1

35
35

21
20
1

23
23

24
24

3

42

23

7

1

11

1

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




as
O
O
P
Q

1
3
1
2
67
32
13
22
6
2
2
6
4
2
1

j
o

50 41
3~
3
1
2
39
38
38
1
5
5

1
21
10
11
4
4
40

2

1
1
3

Unclassified;
insufficient data

a

a

s
$
3M
l g*
l-i
*8 ■ ©s o
© M ■Sa
3
O
ja Pm
m

Poor housekeeping
Hazardous
arrangement

6“

53 420 203
5
3 104
2 60
4
1 57
3
1 3
1
1 40
1
3
1
33 103 83
13 35 21
7 13
6
6 22 15
46 46
38 38
8
8
19 18 13
1 4
3
4 19 10
1
1
6
5
2
1
9
4
4

10
1
9

„E
«*

m
©
TJ
s
-13
-

3o
H

Laok of personal
safety equipment

847
105
84
24
60
13
3
5
342
156
106
50
70
65
5
109
7
61
8
4
21
24
4
48
19
29
29
9
20
32
118
1
17
80
20
§

4
5
41

47
56

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

Total..................................................................... 2,719 706 547
Striking against objects__________________ 375 21
2~
Bumping against_______________ ___ 190 18
97
Sharp-edged or rough objects________
4
93 14
Other objects______________ _______
90
Rubbing against objects....................................
2
3
88
Stepping on nails, wires, etc_____
—
7
Other__________________________________
Struck by moving objects________________ 751 99 63
Falling objects______________________ 335 74 61
From hands of workers____ ______ 185 66 59
150
From other sources.................... —
2
8
Flying objects_________________ ___ 247
Small particles__________________ 232
15
Other._________________________
Hand-operated or -wielded objects......... 150 21
1
19
1
Other_____________ ___________ ___
4
Caught in, on, or between________________ 147 25 19
25
1
Moving parts of equipment__________
39
Rolling or falling objects_____________
5 4
32
Moving equipment and other objects----2
44 16 15
Objects being handled___________ —
7
1
Other objects_______________________
125 14 3
Falls—on same level____ _____________ -59
2
Due to slips________________________
4
66 10
1
Other----------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------Falls— from elevations__________________________________ . . 194 42
2
68 17
From ladders__ _______________ __________
29
From scaffolds, stagings, etc_________
97 25
From other elevations............................ ...............
2
1
Slips and stumbles (not falls)____________ _______________ 127
6
Overexertion due to _____________________ 593 471 457
Carrying objects_______________ _ . . 111 109 109
Lifting objects______________________________________________ 328 311 309
Pulling or pushing objects_________________________ 103 23 13
51 28 26
Other operations___________________________________________
Contact with extreme temperatures____ _______ 194
8
3
Hot liquids_. _____ — ______________________________________ 118
3
71
Flames_____________________________________________________________
5
2
Other............................................................................. ..................... ..................
Other types___________________________________________________________ 157 20
56
Unclassified; insufficient data _____ _____________________

Defective
agencies

Improperly guarded
agencies

Accident type

Hazardous working
procedures
-a
o
a
Total
ya
number
©
§«
of
2.S-i c ® ° 8
acci­
qu *§ £ O e3
j
dents
o S' Y a1
4
° a <-4 P g S ©
& te bfi o g
3o 1 3 c
§* o
H
o

T able 13.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,11949, classified by hazardous working condition and agency of

accident

Agencies of accident
Hazardous working condition

P rojectin g n a ils, w ires, slivers
R ough or uneven

Other
Lack of personal safety equipment___
Goggles_________ ______ __ _
Gloves__________ ______
Knee pads______ _______
B o o t s _____
_____
Other
Improperly guarded agencies__ _____
Poor housekeeping____________ _____
Hazardous arrangement.........................
Other.......................................... ..............
Unclassified; insufficient data........... ..

2,719
706
547
65
41
53
420
203
63
60
42
27
25
333
181
44
36
24
48
162
160
50
41
847

620
497
481
2
9
5
77
35
1
30
8
3
5
5

220
149
139

111
111
110

6
4
37
14
1
18
4

1

13

6

28

99
82
80
2

1

142
112
110

1
13
12

48
43
42

1
1
23
8
10
3
2

4
1
2
1

5
5

23

3
1

4
1

3

357
22
20
2
100
19
42
1
6
23
9
44
33
11
43
148

191
17
17
35
4
18
5
1
7
15
15
24
100

102
1

64
4
3

1
41
19

1
24
15
5
1
1
l
1
13

21
1
16
15
1
44

3
10
19
4

230
21
1
20
71
66
4
1

88
16
16
15
15

132
122
9

57
54
2

1
3

142
5
1
4
56
51
4
1

1

3

103
2

75
68
7
3

54
3
3

2

48
4
3
1
7
2
5

8
7
1

3

35
8
1
7
19
8
2
9

32
14
7
1
10

101
34
20
23
24

1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




75
30
3
27

36
1

1
18

29
8

8

344
113
56
13
30
14
138
66
13
25
17
4
13
19
11
3
3
2
38
4
9
23

853
6
6

847

APPENDIX — STATISTICAL TABLES

Lack of adequate help in lifting........
Lack of scaffolds, walkways, etc..
Congested or confined working
Other
.
__ _ .
Defective agencies
H id den defects
Slippery_______ ______________
Sharp-edged

Working surfaces
Plumbing fixtures
Total
Hand tools
Un­
Ex­
number
Hot
classi­
of
sub­ Lad­ Chem­ cava­ Lum­
acci­ Total Pipes Bath­ Heat­ Sinks Other Total Floors Ground Other Total Chis­ Other stances ders icals tions ber Other fied
els
dents
tubs ers

CO

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

32

T able

14.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by hazardous
working condition and occupation of injured
Hazardous working condition

All workers

Journeymen

Apprentices

Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2Number Percent 2 Number Percent 2

402
245 100.0
Total........................... ............................- .................. ....... 2,719 100.0 2,040 100.0
Hazardous working procedures........ .................................. 706 37.7
501 36.0
41.2
127
68 31.6 102
Lack of adequate help in lifting..................................
547 29.2
384 27.5
52
Lack of scaffolds, walkways, etc.................................
51
3.0
65
3.5
3.7
5
8
Congested or confined working area ______________
6
41
2.2 29 2.1 . 6 3.6
11
5
53
3.0
2.8 37 2.7
323 23.2
33 20.0
Defective agencies.......... ............ .................. ....................
59
420 22.4
150 10.7
23 14.0
Hidden defects........ ......... ............ .............................. 203 10.9
Slippery.................................... ..................................
63
50
3.6
2
1.2 29
3.4
8
50
60
3.2
3.6
10
Sharp-edged_________________________________
42
32
2.3
2.2
4
2.4
6
Projecting nails, wires, slivers__________________
19
Rough or uneven.......... ..............................................
27
1.4
3
4
1.4
1 1.8
22
2
Other_______________________________________
25
1.3
1.6
.6
333
259 18.6
Lack of personal safety equipment....................................
17.8
29 17.6
9.6
135
9.7
Goggles------------------- ---------------- -----------------181
20 12.2 40
2.3
2.4
32
44
3
Gloves------------------- --------------------------- ---------7
1.8 251
34
2.4
1.9
Knee pads__________________ _______________
36
24
1.3
19
1.4
3
1
Boots..................... ............................................. .........
1.8
3
6
Other_______________________________________
48
2.6 39 2.8
1.8
122 8.8 14 8.5 23
162
Improperly guarded agencies...............................................
8.7
13
Poor housekeeping________________________________
160
119
8.5
8.5
7.9
28
Hazardous arrangement _....................................................
50
37
2.7
7
2.7
5
3.0
3
7
Other _____ _ _______________________________
41
2.2 31 2.2
1.8
Unclassified; insufficient data_______________________
111
847
648
80
1 Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
2 Percents are based on classified cases only.
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.

T able

Superintendents,
foremen

Helpers

100.0

43.7
35.1
2.7
2.1
3.8
20.3
10.0
2.7
3.4
2.1
1.4
.7
13.7
8.6
2.4
.3
.3

2.1
7.9
9.6
2.4
2.4

32

100.0

5
1
3

20.8
4.2

1

4.2

10
9
1

41.7
37.5
4.2

12.4

1
2
1
1

5

20.8
4.2
8.2
4.2
4.2

3

12.5

1
8

4.2

15.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by hazardous
working condition and location of accident
Number of accidents occurring—
Hazardous working condition

On floors

On ground
(except
excavations)

On ladders

In ditches
or other
excavations

On steps
or
stairs

Under
houses

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2
Total..........................-..............................................
Hazardous working procedures.................................
Lack of adequate help in lifting. ......................
Lack of scaffolds, walkways, etc.......................
Congested or confined working areas________
Other.................................. ...............................
Defective agencies................................... ...................
Hidden defects..................................................
Slippery..................................... .....................
Sharp-edged................................... .....................
Projecting nails, wires, slivers_____________
Rough or uneven........ .......................... ............
Other....................................................................
Lack of personal safety equipment_____________
Goggles....................................................... .......
Gloves............................................................... .
Knee pads_____________ ___________ ___
Boots___________ ____ _______ _____ ____
Other.... ..................................................... .........
Improperly guarded agencies........................... .........
Poor housekeeping.....................................................
Hazardous arrangement............................................
Other................................ ......... ................................
Unclassified; insufficient data.......................... ..........

246 100.0
38 18.1
15
7.1
16
7.7
3
1.4
4
1.9
41 19.5
10 4.8
17 8.0
5 2.4
4
1.9
1
.5
4
1.9
21 10.0
3
1.4
1
.5
15 7.1
1
.5
1
.5
16 7.6
93 44.3
1
.5
36

112 100.0
8
9.0
7.9
7
1
40
18
2
19
1
3

1.1
45.0
20.3
2.2
21.4
1.1
3.4

3

3.4

2
35
1

2.2
39.3
1.1

23

1Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.



102 100.0
28 33.3
1
1.2
27 32.1
10
8

11.9
9.5

1
1
5
2
1
2
35
6

1.2
1.2
6.0
2.4
1.2
2.4
41.7
7.1

101 100.0
18 25.4
10 14.2
3
4.2
1
1.4
4
5.6
10 14.1
4
5.6
5
7.1
1
1.4
6
1
1
4

8.5
1.4
1.4
5.7

26
8
2
1
30

36.5
11.3
2.8
1.4

97 100.0
28 36.3
5
1 6.5
1.3
22 28.5
6
1
1
2
1
1
18
4
13
1

2
1
22
18
20
2 Percents are based on classified cases only.

7.8
1.3
1.3
26
13
1.3
23 4
5.2
16.9
1.3
2.6
1.3
28.6

77
32
31

100.0
61.5
59.6

1
12
2

1.9
23.1
38
7.8

4

2

77
3.8

3
4

5.8
7.7

1
25

1.9

4

APPENDIX — STATISTICAL TABLES
T able

33

16.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,1 1949, classified by hazardous
working condition and activity of injured
Activity when injured—
Hazardous working condition

Using hand
tools

Walking,
stepping, etc

Lifting
objects

Carrying
objects

Placing
objects

Other

Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2 ber cent 2
Total............................................................................ 623 100.0 239 100.0 481 100.0 245 100.0 118 100.0
Hazardous working procedures________ _______
40 12.5
23 12.8 347 88.0 150 73.1
47 55.3
Lack of adequate help in lifting........................
4 1.3
Lack of scaffolds, walkways, etc. ................
12 2.5 16 3 4 3391 85.95 147 71.6 412 48.1
3.8
8.8 2 .3 2 1.0 2 2.4
6 .6 5 1.3
8
Congested or confined working areas________
2.4
Other................................... ............ ...................
1
1 .5 2 2.4
16 4.9
Defective agencies.....................................................
93 29.2
41 22.9
27 13.2
16 18.8
27 6.9
Hidden defects...................................................
72 22.6
9 5.0
Slippery________________________________
2 3.26 11 6.2 9 2.3 4 3.4 7 8.2
6 2.0 7 2.0 7 8.2
Sharp-edged.........................................................
10 2.5 2 1.1 2 1.5 2 1.0 1 1.2
Projecting nails, wires, slivers_____________
2 1.1 1 .5 1 .5
8 .3 10 5.6 8 .3 11 5.3 1 1.2
Rough or uneven.................................................
1
7 3.9
1 .3 2 1.0
Other___________________________ _ ___
Lack of personal safety equipment........................... 162 50.8
16 8.9
2 .5 1 .5 3 3.5
Goggles___________________________ ___ 141 44.3
11 3.4 12 6.6 1 .3
1 1.2
Gloves_________________________________
3
Knee pads______________________________
.9
1 1.7 1 .2 1 .5 1 1.2
3
Boots___________ ___ _ _____ _ ___
.9
.6
1 1.1
Other_____________________ ____________
4 1.3
3
Improperly guarded agencies_________ ________
16 5.0
20 11.2 6 1.5 5 2.4 8 9.4
Poor housekeeping...................................................
3
20 9.8 4 4.7
.9
74 41.4
5 1.3
2 1.1 7 1.8 2 1.0 6 7.1
Hazardous arrangement............................................
5 1.6
1 1.2
Other_____ ____ _
_ _ _ _ ____
3 1.7
Unclassified; insufficient data
_ _ _ _ 304
33
40
60
87
1Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
2 Percents are based on classified cases only.
Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.




345
31

10
8
4

9
85
45
13
7

12
1
7

87
33
14
4
11
25
24
7
5
5

101

100.0

12.7
4.1
3.3
1.6
3.7
34.8
18.4
5.3
2.9
4.9
.4
2.9
35.8
13.6
5.8
1.6
4.5
10.3
9.8
2.9

2.0
2.0

T able 17.—Disabling work injuries reported by plumbers in 13 States,11949, classified by type of accident and unsafe act
Unsafe acts
Accident type

-fr u . S . G O V E R N M E N T P R I N T I N G O F F I C E ; 1952-

OfVipr
TTfl.n^-npprpfpH r»v
nhjpots
Dt.hpr
f>n nr ^pf'yirppn
nv!ncr part.s of pqiiipTnpnt
nr falling nbjpo.tft
Moving hping h^nrllpd other objects
Objpnts equipment ojid
Offipf rvjijppts
TTfl.lJc*—on ftn.mp 1evel
T)lie f.o slips
Other
TTplIp-- from plpvnf.ions
Tfrom 1 Hpm
TTrom sonffolrls stnirinprs pf.p
li’rnm other elevations
pihps find stum hies (not falls)
flynrpYprf.ion Hup to
nprrjring ohjeets
Tufting ohjeets
Pi^llipg or pushing ohjeets
Of.her operations
Oont.flo.t with evtreme temperatures
TTot. ljrpiirjsa
T’lfimep
i
Other
Other types
_ __ _ _ ____
Up classified *inpi;ffieient dp.t,s.

2,719

189
23
11
g

190
97
2
93
90 12
88
7
751 133
335 107
185 107
150
2
247
1
232
i
15
150 23
1
19
147 14
2
25
2
39
32
10
44
7
125
59

66
194
68
29

97
127
593
111
328
103
51
194
118
71
5
157
56

78

8
2
2
6

61
7
6
5

1
1

63
63
63

41
20
20
1
1
20
6 6
1 2
5

4

1
1
7

1
2
11
10
1
4

1
1

4

2
2
3
2
1

50

8
3
2
1
5

93
7
3
1

2
4

60
—

1
1
2

20

19

21
1
1
2

16
—

1

17
3~

2
1
1
1

29
24
24

1
1
3
1
2
1
1

1

1

1
12 41
4
8 3
1 22 22
10 10
1 1
1 11 11
36 20
2
2
8
8

4
2
2

1
4
1
3

9

7

15

11

I
1
1 1
8 10
10
8
8 8

2
2
4
1
3
4

Taking
unsafe
posi­
tions

54
40~
40
9
31

2
1
1

2
2

2
2

4

2

60
4

5

i
l

2
1
9
9

3

1
3
2
2
1
1
1

1
1

9

38

2

2
1
1
1
1
1
1

1

10
5
5
2
2
2
1
7
2

1
1
1

7
5

2
1

2
1
1

5

38

1
1

8

14
__

1
1

17
17
1
16

7

3

31

21

3

41
__

24
3
3

1 Arkansas, C alifornia, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, K entucky, M aine, M assachusetts, M issouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, V erm ont, and W est Virginia.




44
__

Un­
Exert­ Failure Work­
classi­
ing
to
exces­ secure ing Other fied;
at
insuffi­
sive
cient
pres­ or unsafe
data
sures warn speeds

5

1

28
14
1
13
4
4
7

2,193
291
129
75
54
78
83

1

565
203
77
126
243
229
14
102
17
115
19
36
29
26
5
108
55
53
160
57
28
75

88

511
110
313
53
35
172
99
68
5
128
55

INJURY AND ACCIDENT CAUSES IN PLUMBING OPERATIONS

Total....................................................................

Inattention to footing
Gripping objects insecurely
In­
Total
atten­
While stepping to or from
number
tion
of
to sur­
On
Hand
acci­
dents Total Pipes tools Other Total Total Stairs Lad­ Other floors Other round­
ings
sur­
ders faces