Health & Safety
Concrete is easy to work with, versatile, durable, and economical. By observing a few basic precautions, it is also one of the safest building materials known. Anyone working with cement and concrete should follow these simple suggestions for protection and prevention of any accidents.
The work area should be kept clean and uncluttered to minimize hazards. The jobsite should be adequately marked to warn the public of construction activities. Fences, barricades, and warning signs can be used to restrict public access.
Protect Your Head and Eyes
Hard hats should be worn on all construction sites, whether large or small. Eyes are particularly vulnerable to blowing dust, splattering concrete, and other foreign objects and adequate eye protection is essential when working with cement or concrete.
Protect Your Back
Concrete and its component materials can be heavy – even in small quantities. When lifting heavy materials, your back should be straight, legs bent, and the weight between your legs as close to the body as possible. Do not twist at the waist while lifting or carrying these items.
After the concrete is deposited in the desired area by chute, pump, or wheelbarrow, it should be pushed, not lifted, into final position with a shovel. A short-handled, square-end shovel is an effective tool for spreading concrete, but special concrete rakes can also be used. Excessive horizontal movement of the concrete not only requires extra effort, but may also lead to segregation of the concrete ingredients.
Protect Your Skin
Prolonged contact between fresh concrete and skin surfaces, eyes, and clothing may result in burns. If irritation persists consult a physician. For deep burns or large affected skin areas, seek medical attention immediately.