When it comes time to get started your next concrete construction project, you can plan ahead to eliminate safety hazards from your work zone.
””As you plan your concrete projects, you must take action to ensure the work zone remains safe for all of your workers. Even the most basic work zones in Arkansas can be fraught with concrete safety hazards that could potentially cause injury to your workers or other people onsite. You can mitigate the dangers by enforcing the use of proven safety techniques and equipment for every concrete construction project. Here are six concrete safety hazards to prepare for as you set up your work zone.
1. Chemical Burns
Direct contact with wet concrete can cause chemical burns and other skin problems to quickly develop. The caustic chemicals in Portland cement cause these injuries by directly pulling moisture out of the skin and damaging the sensitive cells. When placing admixtures in the concrete mix, the potentially damaging effects may be worsened. Workers can remain protected from coming into direct contact with wet concrete by wearing personal protective equipment, such as heavy duty boots and gloves, while on the jobsite.
2. Respiratory Irritation
Prolonged contact with dust from dry concrete mixtures can cause respiratory distress, including acute swelling of the bronchial tubes. Since pouring and mixing dry concrete in open containers causes dust to fly freely through the air, delivery by truck can help prevent this situation altogether. Workers who need to cut through concrete, or prepare ready to mix concrete by hand, should always wear dust masks to prevent inhalation of the tiny dust particles.
3. Improper Lift Injuries
Injuries from lifting are common on concrete construction sites due to the use of improper technique while moving heavy objects. At about 150 pounds per cubic foot, even small pieces of concrete can weigh enough to cause serious, long-term damage. To prevent lift injuries, workers must utilize forklifts or share the load with other individuals on the jobsite when moving items over 50 pounds. Furthermore, while moving objects manually, it is important for your workers to lift and lower with the knees, not the back, and completely avoid twisting while carrying the heavy items.
4. Injuries from Falling Objects
Even small objects, such as concrete trowels, falling from far overhead have the power to cause serious injuries to the head, neck, shoulders, and spine. Individuals walking below elevated work areas should always wear a safety hat and practice extreme caution while moving around the worksite. When objects are being moved overhead, workers should clear the area until the item is securely placed in its intended position.
5. Falls from Elevated Platforms
Falls from great heights account for more than one third of all fatal injuries on construction sites. While working on elevated platforms to fill concrete forms, workers must wear safety harnesses to prevent potentially fatal falls. The work areas should also have a protective guard rail and toe board installed to further protect workers.
6. Vehicle Accidents
Operating heavy duty construction equipment in tight work zones is a potential recipe for disaster. You and your workers must remain highly vigilant to keep vehicle accidents to a minimum. To prevent accidents, workers should only operate equipment for which they have been extensively trained. If you do not have a trained worker available, consider bringing in an experienced outside professional for concrete pours and other specialty work to keep your work zone safe and secure.
To keep your worksite as safe as possible from concrete safety hazards, contact Razorback Concrete at 870-455-0700 to speak with an experienced project manager and receive a free estimate for a concrete delivery.