Essential Concrete Cutting Safety Steps One Can Not Ignore
Concrete cutting and sawing is an essential service in modern-day society. The vast majority of construction projects use concrete in one way or another.
When the time for renovations and or expansion comes, clearing space, changing the structure, or eliminating a concrete structure requires contractors to cut, saw, and or drill through concrete.
While cutting, sawing, and drilling through concrete is commonplace, these endeavours are never typical.
There are plenty of hazards involved in concrete cutting. As such, efforts made towards reducing the risk involved are always welcome.
Some of the efforts to negate the dangers of cutting concrete include:
- Use engineering and administrative controls to ensure safety
- Use proper personal protective equipment
- Shut down any utility supplied to the structure
- Understand how to use equipment properly
1. Using Engineering And Administrative Controls To Improve Safety
There are many ways concrete cutting personnel can reduce risks.
Engineering and administrative controls are some of the best ways to negate the risk of exposure to silica, which is a prominent component of concrete sawing.
Engineering controls involve the use of certain methods to reduce the dispersal of silica dust into the air.
An excellent example of using engineering controls in reducing dust is wet-drilling and sawing.
Wetting the concrete is one method of minimising the creation of silica dust.
Another engineering control is the use of dust collection systems, which vacuum the dust and ventilate it safely.
Administrative control involves the development of safe working practices and procedures and enforcing them.
Supervisors and managers on any project site play an important role in improving everyone's safety on site by ensuring the best safety precautions and practices are followed.
2. Use Personal Protective Equipment
The use of personal safety equipment (PPE) is not only advisable but mandatory on many project sites, as it should be.
As you can appreciate, sawing and drilling concrete is a risky task, fraught with danger. Any mishap whatsoever can lead to fatal injuries.
Aside from accidents, PPEs protect workers from long-term exposure to silica. PPE, therefore, help to protect workers.
With this in mind, it is important personnel working on a concrete cutting site to use the following:
- Safety glasses to protect the eyes,
- Use respirators to protect lungs from hazardous silica laden dust,
- Protective headgear,
- Proper ear protection gear, and
- Proper foot protection gear.
3. Shut Down Any Utility Supply To The Building
Sawing and drilling through concrete is fraught with the risk of coming into contact with utilities.
For instance, when drilling through walls, there is a risk of encountering electrical wires installed in the concrete.
If the sawing or drilling equipment comes into contact with the electrical installations, there is a high risk of electrocution.
Moreover, there is also the risk of knocking out power to a large portion of the building, necessitating extensive and expensive repairs.
To avoid the risk of slicing through electrical wires, contractors should use the as-built plans of the building and avoid interfering with the electrical installations.
However, since such plans can have some inaccuracies.
In such cases, it is vital to shut down the electrical supply to the building to prevent the risk of electrocution.
4. Use The Drilling Equipment Properly And Safely
Concrete saws and drills are designed to operate within specific operating parameters based on the materials you are dealing with and the type of drilling.
Deviations from the strict operating parameters can lead to accidents with fatal consequences.
As such, personnel need to have an intricate understanding of their equipment and the project at hand, ensuring the machines are used correctly.
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Last update on 2019-12-14 at 09:37 PST - Details
YouTube Video: Safety information for using concrete cutting saws
How to find concrete mix ratio? While concrete cutting comes with its own set of hazards and risks, following the above safety considerations will reduce the chances of an accident occurring. You can always opt for a specialist concrete cutting company like Megasaw who uses only the best practices to get the job right.