When working with concrete on a regular basis you become familiar to all the potential hazards one might face when working with the material. However, for those of us that might be pouring in a small basement or a small form around the garden, you still need to take precautions to protect yourself.
Concrete is easy to work with, very adaptable, used more than any other building material in the construction industry and durable. That being said, there are precautions that need to be made to ensure injuries don’t occur.
Protect your head. All the equipment used to transport, pour, place and cure concrete are heavy and can inflict damage. Wearing a hard hat should be done at any construction site as all Kryton International Inc. employees do.
Protect your fragile eyes. Eyes are vulnerable to splattering concrete which can damage your sight, as well as gusting dust from the mix, and other foreign objects known to float around a site both large and small.
Lift properly. All the materials in concrete – cement, sand, water, aggregate – are quite heavy, which means concrete is going to be really heavy, as well as the tools used at the job-site. When lifting heavier materials, keep your back stiff, engage your core and use your legs. However, don’t be a hero, let the equipment like a wheelbarrow do the work for you to get the concrete as close to its final destination as possible.
Protect your skin. Prolonged contact between fresh concrete and your skin and even your clothes can result in severe burns. Clothing worn as protection from fresh concrete should not be allowed to become saturated with moisture from fresh concrete because saturated clothing can transmit alkaline or hygroscopic effects to the skin.
Waterproof gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants should be worn. If you must stand in fresh concrete while it is being placed, screened, or floated, wear rubber boots high enough to prevent concrete from getting into them.
The best way to avoid skin irritation is to wash with a pH neutral soap and clean water; however, if you suffer deep burns, consult a medical professional immediately!
These are just four precautions to be weary of when working with concrete. Other potential hazards could be the noise from vibration and other machinery, acids in cleaning materials and other co-workers unsure of proper procedure and best practices.