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