When plumbing emergencies happen at home, we call in a plumber and wait for the issue to be fixed. In most cases, we don’t have to leave the house. But when plumbing emergencies happen at the office, there are health and safety issues that need to be considered. If you’re in charge of maintenance and repairs of the building, you could be held liable if you do not act quickly and staff members are injured in some way.
Here are some tips on how to handle a plumbing emergency at the office.
Inspect and Block Off Unsafe Areas
As soon as the issue is reported or discovered, inspect the situation. Block off any unsafe areas to prevent potential injuries and keep staff safe.
Place caution signs in areas that are wet or slippery. Post signs on bathrooms or sinks that cannot be operated until repaired to warn staff. If necessary, use caution tape to block off dangerous areas.
Call in a Professional
After assessing the issue and securing the area, call in a plumber. Most plumbing emergencies require the help of a professional – do not attempt to fix the problem yourself unless you have the experience and expertise.
If a clog is the issue, which is one of the most common commercial plumbing issues, a plumber will have the tools to get the job done quickly. In cases of serious clogs, hydro-jetting may need to be performed to clean and clear stubborn clogs and build-up.
Alert Staff of the Issue
Make sure that people in the office are alerted of the issue. Communication is key if you hope to avoid injuries and liability concerns. It’s also important that staff understand to avoid certain areas to allow plumbers to carry out their work without interruption.
Staff can be alerted of the situation through management, via memos and signs posted in the building.
Send Staff Home if Necessary
A plumbing emergency may not seem like a big deal – and it may not be – but there are health and safety concerns that need to be considered. The last thing you want is to create an unsafe work environment.
If the water will be shut-off during business hours or bathrooms will need to be closed off to handle repairs, you may need to send staff home for the day or have them work remotely.
Plumbing emergencies can and do happen in the workplace. Having a plan to handle such emergencies will allow for a quick and smooth resolution that minimizes risk and work interruption.
Ensuring that you keep up on building maintenance will also help prevent emergencies. If you’re renting the space, talk to the property manager about plumbing maintenance schedules. If no plan is in place, you may have to create one of your own.
Make sure that you’re prepared for such emergencies, and take the time to find a reputable commercial plumber before you’re faced with emergency situations. Doing so will ensure that you know exactly who to call if a pipe bursts or a toilet starts overflowing.