Safety is a primary concern in working with concrete. Safety precautions are an absolute must on every job site due to heavy regulations from OSHA as well as internal company policies. While the established rules may seem obvious and elementary, they can make the difference between a safe, successful worksite and a dangerous or even fatal one.
When it comes to cutting concrete, taking the right precautions each step will help protect and guard against any accidents.
Inspect Concrete Drills Often
Concrete is a tough surface to work with and when cutting it you are dealing with very sharp, high-intensity blades. Knowing this, it’s important to inspect your drill monthly, weekly or even daily. Checking the drill on a constant, regular basis will ensure you see loose screws, damaged blades and drive belt issues that may need readjusting or attention before they reach the breaking point.
Wear Proper Protective Gear
Proper protective gear should be worn whenever any concrete cutting job is performed. This includes glove and eye protection from flying particles or slurry that can be produced while sawing. You should also use a form of respiratory protection for long-term safety, as particles are often flying around the jobsite.
Wear the proper footwear so that you do not run the risk of losing your footing or accidentally slipping while handling drills or other dangerous equipment and tools. Along with this, make sure you are not wearing any loose or hanging items while sawing to avoid catching in the machines.
Prepare Cutting Lines and Water Supply
When it comes to the actual concrete cutting, careful planning goes a long way to a successful job execution. Mark your cutting lines so that you can clearly see them as you saw. Saw slowly and follow the line, ensuring an accurate cut. Go slowly while lowering the blade to cut, allowing it to work at its maximum efficiency – pushing it to work harder than it is meant to can cause accidents.
When using a wet saw, make sure you have a large enough water supply for the project before you start cutting. However as you supply the water, do not use too much, as this can cause a water slurry which is also dangerous.
Use Saw Guards and Stop Engine to Refuel
While it may seem obvious, make sure to use the saw’s guards, and always shut off the saw’s engine before refueling it. Let the engine cool down before adding the fuel.
Along with these basic guidelines, make sure to review your tool and equipment safety manuals and any applicable job site regulations. Doing your due diligence and reviewing all aspects of the project, and planning ahead, will help you make sure you keep an accident-free jobsite.
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