Concrete has been around for hundreds of years and is used to make a wide variety of things. From the Great Pyramids to building projects, concrete is a very versatile material. Concrete injuries are rare, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when handling concrete:
PROTECT YOUR EYES AND YOUR HEAD
Any construction tools, equipment, and materials pose a dangerous threat to those using them and anyone in the area. Hard hats should be worn when handling concrete. You should also be protecting your eyes. Dust from the concrete can harm your eyes, as well as splattering concrete or other objects. Make sure you are protecting your eyesight by wearing goggles or construction glasses.
PROTECTING YOUR BACK
The materials to make concrete are very heavy. Cement, aggregate, water, and sand make concrete when mixed together. If you are lifting these materials, you should keep your back straight, knees bent, and keep the weight in your upper legs. Try not to twist your body at all when carrying concrete materials because your back will be in a lot of pain. If you know the materials will be super heavy, ask someone else to help you carry it.
WHAT TO WEAR
Whatever you choose to wear while working with concrete, don’t let it get too wet because you can get alkaline or hygroscopic effects on your skin. You should be wearing gloves that are waterproof, pants, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself. If you are going to be standing in fresh concrete, wear rubber boots that go up your leg enough that the concrete won’t seep in.
PROTECTING YOUR SKIN
Chemical burns and skin irritation can happen from handling concrete. You should avoid this happening at all costs. Contact between concrete and skin should be limited to only a small amount of time. Third-degree burns can be a result of prolonged contact with concrete. If your skin does burn or become irritated, you should see a medical professional for help.
THE A-B-CS OF CONCRETE ON SKIN
Abrasive sand included in fresh concrete is abrasive to exposed skin.
Basic and portland cement is alkaline – which is wet
Caustic concrete and other cement mixtures are very basic (pH of 12 to 13)—strong bases-like strong acids-are dangerous or caustic on the skin.
Drying portland cement absorbs water. Portland cement requires water to harden. It will pull moisture away from any material it contacts – which includes the skin.
CONTACT ATLANTIC EQUIPMENT
Atlantic Equipment is here to provide you or your business with concrete to use for any project. Contact us to learn more about our offerings and products by calling us today at 800-543-3350. We have locations in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Florida!