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Before you start a concrete construction job using concrete cutting equipment, think OSHA. Familiarize yourself with potential hazards. Advance planning is your friend.

When DIY homeowners dig a hole and fill it with concrete to secure a 4” x 4” fence post, they rarely associate the job with danger. Yet mishandling concrete and concrete equipment can be a risky business. Concrete is the foundation for most commercial buildings and multifamily housing. It’s the guts of highway and bridge infrastructure. Even the DIY homeowner mixes a wheelbarrow of concrete now and again.

The most common risks, hazards and solutions when working with concrete might surprise you.

Common Concrete Physical Injuries

Physical injuries top the list. Concrete is heavy when in powder form in a bag. Stooping improperly to pick up a hunk of concrete can put a laborer on his back for days. Exposure to the alkali chemicals in cement can result in disabling third degree burns. Fingers can be crushed when not wearing proper protective gloves. When a pedestrian trips on concrete, whether it’s on a sidewalk or driveway it’s often grounds for a homeowner’s insurance claim. Falling concrete on a jobsite can be lethal.

Cement Health Hazards

Inhaling cement dust irritates eyes, skin, noses, and throats causing upper respiratory track ailments. Long-term repetitive exposure to this health hazard is been proven to lead to silicosis and even lung cancer.

Concrete Equipment and Jobsite Environment Risks

The heavy equipment used to move and mix concrete is an accident waiting to happen in the wrong hands. Proper maintenance keeps equipment safe. A moving conveyor belt piled with bags of yet unmixed concrete isn’t safe if the guardrails are missing. Mixers, block makers and cubes, ladders, scaffolding and ramps in tip-top shape are less inclined to break while in use, thus reducing accidents. Accident free status is the goal of careful oversight and unyielding safety practices. Out-smart your construction materials. Don’t take short-cuts.

Put a stop to roll-over accidents before they happen. Wedge the wheels of your wheelbarrows, carts and wagons firmly with a chock. Tether equipment when possible. And think before making an abrupt move in close quarters.

Hazards and Risks Overview

Take necessary precautions to ameliorate risk in construction and landscaping projects. Rely on experts—Ace Cutting Equipment and Supply—for guidance. We’re the definitive source for professional tips when it comes to proper and safe handling of concrete and cement.