Risk level

Pipes are my friend

Heat in the home, water in the taps and a toilet that works - all works thanks to the plumber. If you work as a plumber, you will install and repair pipes and connect systems for water, heat and waste. Welding smoke and moisture can be problems if you have asthma or eczema.

What are the risks?

Plumbers work with their hands and various tools. The work can be damp, dirty and hard on the hands. Some people will develop hand eczema, in which case the skin becomes dry, red and flaky with cracks and blisters that itch.

If you work on a building site, there can be lots of dust in the air. Welding is a frequent part of the job, and the smoke can be problematic if you have asthma. Sometimes you will have to work in tight spaces where ventilation is poor.

Prevention and avoidance

There are many ways of reducing the risk of eczema or asthma as a plumber. Use protective gloves whenever possible and masks when it is dusty. Also rub an unperfumed moisturising cream into your hands before and after work.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to know more about asthmaand eczema when working as a plumber, get in touch with your school nurse or careers adviser.