Taking Moisture Meter Readings While Avoiding Health & Safety Hazards

Protimeter ReachMaster Pro

There’s hardly a profession that doesn’t have its risks to a worker’s health and safety. 

Conducting moisture surveys during home inspections and flood damage restoration are no exceptions. 

Moisture can create serious issues within a space. And the spaces in which moisture readings are taken are not without their hazards, too. 

Being mindful of the common obstacles to health and safety during moisture testing helps you work efficiently with no major issues. 

 

5 Health and Safety Concerns When Taking Moisture Meter Readings  

Locating areas of concern with moisture isn’t always a risk-free venture. When conducting a moisture survey, there are several health and safety hazards to be mindful of, including: 

  • Improper ladder use
  • Unstable objects
  • Confined spaces
  • Mold 
  • Stagnant water 

 

1. Improper Ladder Use 

While ladders are part of everyday life as an inspector, they aren’t without their risks. 

Work-related injuries from ladder falls have remained on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s top 10 most-cited violations for the last decade. It’s estimated more than 100,000 people are injured by falling off a ladder each year. 

Among the most common causes for ladder related injuries are:

  • Overreaching
  • Mounting or dismounting the ladder improperly
  • Missteps while climbing up or down
  • Loss of balance 
  • Failing to set up the ladder properly

 

2. Unstable Objects

Sometimes taking a moisture reading requires navigating around large objects that, by appearances, seem stable. When bumped or moved, heavy objects -- such as a shelving unit that’s not fastened down or a stack of boxes -- can fall over and injure those in the way. 

It’s estimated falling objects cause more than 50,000 workplace injuries annually. In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 241 fatalities caused by falling objects

 

3. Confined Spaces

You may think of confined spaces as a utility tunnel or a giant tank on an industrial site. In reality, confined spaces are present on almost every property -- a home’s crawlspace basement is considered a confined space

Taking moisture readings in a confined space, such as a partial attic, gets tiring after a short time. You’re often forced to crouch or crawl once inside, causing muscle strain and fatigue. Not to mention, working in a confined space is time consuming. 

 

4. Mold

If there’s one thing molds love, it’s moisture. In fact, they thrive in it. That’s why during home restoration inspections and building surveys, it’s not uncommon to find stachybotrys (black mold) or alternaria in damp areas. It’s especially present in buildings with flood damage. 

 

5. Stagnant Water

Where there’s a moisture issue, there’s also a chance for exposure to stagnant -- or standing -- water.

Left sitting for long periods of time, untreated stagnant water may harbor dangerous biofilms, which are habitats for dangerous diseases and pathogens such as:

  • Legionella
  • E. coli
  • Nontuberculous mycobacteria 

When encountering standing water during a moisture survey, the best practice is to stay as far away as possible and thoroughly disinfect objects that come in contact with it. 

Staying Safe While Taking Moisture Meter Readings 

As in any profession, the best way to stay safe while on the job is to be aware of the hazards you may encounter. Knowledge is power. 

The next best thing is using the equipment and tools that keep you safe. A moisture meter that’s designed to work with the user allows you to work efficiently without compromising safety. 

With its extendable handle that reaches up to 48” (112 cm), Protimeter’s ReachMaster Pro helps you navigate around these health and safety hazards. 

Learn more about the ReachMaster Pro by contacting one of our distributors near you! 

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