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Safety Tips | Materials handling

Cement safety

April 28, 2014

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By taking basic precautions, workers can safely mix, handle and finish concrete without incident. The Portland Cement Association offers these tips for working safely with concrete:

Stay vigilant. Proper eye protection is essential when working with cement or concrete because eyes are especially vulnerable to blowing dust, splattering concrete and foreign objects. Depending on conditions, full-cover goggles or safety glasses with side shields may be necessary.

Watch your back. The ingredients needed to make cement are heavy, even in small quantities. When lifting loads of cement, keep your back straight, legs bent, and the load’s weight between your legs and as close to your body as possible. Never twist at the waist. If the load is too heavy for one person, ask a co-worker for assistance.

Protect your skin. Extensive contact between fresh concrete and skin surfaces, eyes and clothing may cause severe injuries, including caustic burns. If you or a co-worker suffers a burn, seek immediate medical attention.

Use proper positioning. When hauling cement, place it as close as possible to its final position. Once the concrete is where it needs to be, push – do not lift – it into its final position with a shovel.