Two ways to prevent injuries when using concrete for construction projects

Concrete is used in almost all construction projects, for the creation of structural elements such as foundations, floors, and walls. It is arguably one of the most important materials used in the construction process. However, because concrete can cause ulcerations, burns and, in some cases, allergic reactions if it comes into contact with a person's skin or eyes, it is important for construction workers to take precautions when using this substance. Here are two ways to prevent injuries when using concrete for building projects.

Take care when using concrete pump trucks

Many construction companies avail the services of concrete pump hire businesses. A concrete pump truck provides a continuous stream of ready-mixed concrete and as such, offers a far more efficient means of laying a foundation than other manual mixing and pouring methods. 

However, the speed with which a concrete pump truck emits concrete means that, if anyone happens to be standing nearby, they may end up being splattered with this substance. The force with which the heavy concrete would hit their face could leave them with an eye injury or facial laceration.

To prevent this from happening, the operator of the truck should set up a physical barrier (such as a temporary fence or reflective tape) around the area in which they intend to pour the concrete and should check to ensure that no other workers are present in this exclusion zone, before they begin using the equipment.

The operator should also check for hazards (such as utility lines and trenches) that could potentially cause the truck to topple over whilst it is pumping. If this should happen, not only would the operator be crushed but the pump could spew concrete onto those working close by.

Make sure that workers are equipped with appropriate clothing

As mentioned above, any skin contact with concrete can result in serious burns. Given this, it is vital for labourers who are tasked with using this substance to be provided with protective clothing.

At the very minimum, labourers should be equipped with elbow-length waterproof gloves and knee-length rubber boots, to protect their hands and feet. Safety goggles should also be worn, along with long trousers and full-coverage shirts. The clothing items should be made from non-absorbent materials so that any concrete which splashes onto them will not be absorbed into the fibres of the garments and end up making contact with the wearer's skin underneath.