Concrete Construction Safety

19/11/19

Concrete is a versatile and strong material for construction. Concrete workers are just as versatile when performing excavations, carpentry, metalworking, pouring, and smoothing to create concrete structures. Pay attention to the variety of hazards while you work with concrete.

Personal protection equipment (PPE) keeps you safe on the job. For digging, forming, and exposure to concrete, wear sturdy gloves and safety boots to protect your hands and feet. A hard hat protects your head from falling objects and bumps. Consider ear plugs depending on the noise level of your equipment and job site. Safety glasses and face shields protect your eyes from flying dust, wood chips, and concrete. A respirator protects your lungs from concrete dust and dirt.

Cement Dust

Hazard: Exposure to cement dust can irritate eyes, nose, throat and the upper respiratory system. Skin contact may result in moderate irritation to thickening/cracking of skin to severe skin damage from chemical burns. Silica exposure can lead to lung injuries including silicosis and lung cancer.

Solutions:

  • Rinse eyes with water if they come into contact with cement dust and consult a physician.
  • Use soap and water to wash off dust to avoid skin damage.
  • Wear a P-, N- or R-95 respirator to minimize inhalation of cement dust.
  • Eat and drink only in dust-free areas to avoid ingesting cement dust.

 

Wet Concrete

Hazard: Exposure to wet concrete can result in skin irritation or even first-, second- or third-degree chemical burns. Compounds such as hexavalent chromium may also be harmful.

Solutions:

  • Wear alkali-resistant gloves, coveralls with long sleeves and full-length pants, waterproof boots and eye protection.
  • Wash contaminated skin areas with cold, running water as soon as possible.
  • Rinse eyes splashed with wet concrete with water for at least 15 minutes and then go to the hospital for further treatment.

 

Falling Objects

Hazard: Workers may be hit by falling objects from conveyor belt systems, elevators or concrete block stacking equipment.

Solutions:

  • Avoid working beneath cuber elevators, conveyor belts and stacker/destacker machinery.
  • Stack and store materials properly to limit the risk of falling objects.
  • Wear eye protection when chipping and cleaning forms, products or mixers.

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