After doing an apprenticeship in carpet fitting when I left college, I realised that there were so many things to be careful of when fitting a variety of flooring. I worked on domestic properties but, mainly worked on commercial contracts and building sites, so these safety tips are designed to cover all angles. I understand that you aren’t always in a position to have all safety gear and it can be so much quicker getting on with the job but, if you can use these tips, it will certainly give you a better standard of living.
Ask any carpet fitter what he/she thinks needs the most protection when fitting carpets or vinyl and they’ll point straight to their knees and say “knee pads”. As a young lad I didn’t really feel the comfort of them on the carpet but older, wiser colleagues wore them all the time as they had seen the effects on their fathers and other workers. Investing in a comfortable and durable pair of knee pads will really make your day easier and later life more bearable. I eventually bought a pair and couldn’t live without them especially when working on hard floors and vinyl. Some safety trousers include them so get these if you can so you don’t ever forget your kneepads.
Most flooring in industrial settings require the use of sprays and glues that help stick the material to the floor. These can have many harmful chemicals in them and give off some pretty wacky fumes so when possible, always open windows or doors to get the best ventilation. In situations where you can’t get great ventilation, try using a mask to prevent as much harmful fumes as possible.
Mainly needed for building sites, dust masks are a God send when you’re working in dusty settings. I lost count of the times I’d have to sweep, scrape, sweep then scrape again on my hands and knees covering my mouth and nose with my sleeve. It’s not professional, efficient or clever not to wear a mask and it’ll give your health a boost if you use one regularly. Some sprays and glues can be pretty nasty too which a mask will help reduce the levels that you inhale.
Hygiene Gel and Gloves
I remember pulling old vinyl from some of the dirtiest toilets in old houses, offices and schools. This is probably the most disgusting aspect of carpet fitting however, having some gloves and/or hygiene gel will help kill the spread of germs and stop you getting any infections.
Steel toe caps are a must for any carpet fitter and it’s not just heavy items that can crush your toes. On a building site there are many hazardous things you can step on or catch as well as sharp cutting knives and blades that could fall and cut through a standard pair of trainers.
Watch your back. So many aspects of fitting carpet require heavy lifting. Try to get help when you need it and be careful not to over-do it. A carpet fitter with a bad back is no use to anyone!
This article was written by Alan Gregory.
Thank you, Alan for this good advice. Many of the safety articles you mentioned can be found at http://www.tasco-safety.com. pb