Before you start a concrete construction job using concrete cutting equipment, think OSHA. Familiarize yourself with potential hazards. Advance planning is your friend.
When DIY homeowners dig a hole and fill it with concrete to secure a 4” x 4” fence post, they rarely associate the job with danger. Yet mishandling concrete and concrete equipment can be a risky business.
Concrete is the foundation for most commercial buildings and multifamily housing. It’s the guts of highway and bridge infrastructure. Even the DIY homeowner mixes a wheelbarrow of concrete now and again.
The most common risks, hazards and solutions when working with concrete might surprise you.
Common Concrete Physical Injuries
Concrete comes in 50 lb. bags unless it’s delivered wet to the job site in a concrete mixer. Stooping improperly to pick up a bag of concrete can put a laborer on his back for days. Exposure to the alkali chemicals in cement can result in disabling third degree burns. Fingers can be crushed when not wearing proper protective gloves. Falling concrete on a jobsite can be lethal.
Cement Health Hazards
Inhaling cement dust irritates eyes, skin, noses, and throats causing upper respiratory track ailments. Long-term repetitive exposure to this health hazard is been proven to lead to silicosis and even lung cancer.
Concrete Equipment and Jobsite Environment Risks
Rebar comes in 20 ft. lengths. Used to prep a floor for a concrete pour, the rebar must be laid out in a crosshatch pattern and then and tied together. When carrying any construction material, the laborer must be aware of what and who is behind him and what and who is ahead of him. Factor in doors, turns and stairs and the otherwise simple matter of carrying becomes complex. Rebar is metal and can pierce jackets and bodies when improperly managed.
A moving conveyor belt piled with bags of yet unmixed concrete isn’t safe if the guardrails are missing. Mixers, block makers and cubes, ladders, scaffolding and ramps in tip-top shape are less inclined to break while in use, thus reducing accidents. Accident-free status is the goal of careful oversight and unyielding safety practices. Out-smart your construction materials. Don’t take short-cuts.
Put a stop to roll-over accidents before they happen. Wedge the wheels of your wheelbarrows, carts and wagons firmly with a chock. Tether equipment to secure points uphill when possible. And think before making an abrupt move in close quarters.
Hazards and Risks Overview
Take necessary precautions to ameliorate risk in construction and landscaping projects. Rely on experts—Ace Cutting Equipment and Supply—for guidance. We’re the definitive source for professional tips when it comes to proper and safe handling of concrete and cement.
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