Category Archives: Protective Clothing

Cleaning is Essential Part of Work Safety

Even the safest-looking workplaces have their own dangerous moments. If you think that nothing wrong could possibly come to you in the safety of your own calm office, think again. There are probably bookshelves near you, with books high above you that could fall off and concuss you. How are the power outlets handled? Are there any bare wires? If you are working in a paper-filled office, even the smallest sparks can lead to big fires if not handled immediately. And, believe it or not, all these dangers are doubled when you opt to do some cleaning around the office. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and the office.

• If you are about to do some office cleaning, use gloves. Hand protection is important even in the smallest of instances. Rubber gloves can save you a nasty shock and spill if you accidentally come in contact with a bare wire. They will also protect your hands from all the toxins in the cleaning product you are using. Avoid gross rashes and itchy spots with ease, simply put on a pair of gloves while rubbing your desk with a cleaner product and all will be fine.

Cleaning is Essential Part of Work Safety

• If might seem laughable, but if you are working in a place with lots of shelves with files or books, and you are trying to dust them, or even just looking for a particular item, you should use some headgear. Imagine you inadvertently shake a bookcase as you are browsing through some volumes, and there are heavy and unchecked books or folders above you. One wrong step (or shake) will collapse a few of those volumes over your head and could easily lead to a bad concussion.

• Be wary of slippery spots on your floor or carpet. If you are one to have lunches in the office, surely you spilled something once or twice, but did not bother to thoroughly clean it. Some stains become slippery over time and you should protect yourself – and the ones coming into your office from them. Get some carpet cleaners to remove it, or even hire a cleaning agency to do regular office cleaning and keep your workplace safe. Yes, cleanliness sometimes is the key to safety. A professional cleaner will do a fine job of recognizing lasting and problematic stains and will remove them to bring the shine to your office.

• If you are working with a lot of office hardware, you should know that it is inevitable that something may eventually breakdown. Unless you are a mechanic or specialize in office appliance repairs, call an actual repairman to see to the problem. Do not be a hero and try to help out a colleague with a quick fix to a problem that you have no clue about. Leave the broken machinery as they are and call somebody who actually can fix them.

Cleaning is Essential Part of Work Safety2

It requires very little to work safely in your office. A small bit of effort put into a clean and organized office will do wonders for the state of your workplace. If you cannot do it yourself, get a cleaning company. The key thing here is to work safe, so expenses should not be an obstacle.
Read more basic cleaning tips on: finchleycarpetcleaners.org.uk

Protection Clothing for Cleaning

Cleaning is a necessary task that you are often times forced to do around your home and your office. Thanks to cleaning, you will have a refreshed environment and living conditions that are more than suitable for resting and relaxing. There are a lot of products and tools that can make your cleaning more effective and fast, but what you have to keep in mind is that home cleaning and office cleaning should be carefully executed.
If you want to be completely safe during your cleaning service, you need to consider some protection clothing. There is a lot of risk related to using the various cleaning solutions, some of which are far from safe. If you pay attention to labels, you will often notice the description saying ‘poison’, ‘toxic’ and ‘danger’. That alone should be enough to warn you of the threats and make you stay alert during your cleaning service. Acquire the following gear if you want to be safe:

Gloves – even simple latex gloves can protect your skin from the chemicals and dangerous ingredients of various solutions you use in your everyday cleaning. If you have any skin problem, such as irritation, rash, itch and burn you will do well to avoid direct contact with the solutions you use in office and home cleaning. Gloves will not hinder your cleaning in any way, and they will not allow the dangerous liquid to come into contact with the skin on your hands. Thanks to a pair of gloves you can mix solutions without fear and wash dishes with any type of cleaning detergent.

Protection Clothing for Cleaning2

Goggles – some of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service can greatly irritate your eyes because of the fumes they release. In order to protect yourself from this danger, you should acquire a pair of specialized goggles to wear while cleaning. This will provide protection for your sight not only from the fumes of the chemicals, but also from dust and other debris that might get airborne during carpet cleaning for example. Goggles can usually be used multiple times, so definitely consider acquiring quality protection for your sight.

Mask – cleaning solutions and more importantly the chemicals that are present inside them can sometimes lead to respiratory distress. To avoid breathing in the chemicals and fumes of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service, you should always wear a mask. It will be your best line of defense when it comes to filtering the toxins of the cleaning products. This is especially the case with professional cleaners, who have to work with different cleaning solutions every single day. A mask will also prevent solid particles, such as dust and various others from entering your organism.

Protection Clothing for Cleaning

Apronaprons are very useful, especially those that provide pockets where you can put your extra cleaning equipment during your home cleaning. Not only will you stay clean if the job is a messy one, but also you will have everything you need with you and will not waste time.
A lot of these additions to your cleaning are not expensive at all and you can use most of them more than once. Definitely consider them to be safe during your cleaning.

More cleaning tips and advises find at: reliable carpet cleaning in Clapham

Taking Preemptive Measures for Vehicle Accidents in Construction (Guest Post)

Since reducing the risk of fatal accidents and death rate within the construction industry is not an easy job, taking timely, effective preemptive measures is the only way out. Read further for a fair idea of what can be done and how!

The rate of accidents, injuries and deaths associated with the construction industry is much higher than most other areas of work. The most common reasons that make construction work perilous is possibility of deadly accidents with vehicles and falls from extreme height.

On an average, every third fatal accident at a construction site has one or more vehicles involved. Frequently occurring transport accidents at work include:

  1. Victims being stuck by moving vehicles, especially while reversing
  2. People falling from vehicles or hit by things falling from vehicles
  3. Overturning vehicles leading to serious injuries

What Can Be Done to Prevent Vehicle Accidents in Construction?

The first step towards reducing high death rate in construction industry is to reduce the risk of fatal accidents at construction sites that involve vehicles. Employers need to fulfill their legal duties and play a pivotal role in that case, especially by assessing risks and taking practical measures to ensure the safety of everyone around.

This may include maintaining accident records, training and consulting employees, and co-coordinating and cooperating contractors. The focus needs to be on planning and implementing collective safety measures, instead of giving individual measures extra importance. The basic idea should be to replace the hazardous with the harmless.

Taking Preemptive Measures for Vehicle Accidents in the Construction Industry

Practically, accident prevention should not start after the work has already begun on the construction site. Instead, designers, architects and planners can considerably diminish the risk of vehicle accidents by designing and planning well in the pre-build phase.

Risk assessment is the most important aspect that every employer ought to take care of, followed precisely by the conveyance of complete information to the contractors, verifying that the construction site is fully safe for the workers.

A thoroughly carried out risk assessment process involves:

Looking for Potential Hazards:

After you have evaluated the work the finished tasks, identify potential dangers that may be associated with the presence of heavy vehicles at the site. Operations such as reversing, loading and unloading always have a higher probability of damage being done at the workplace.

Factors that increase the likelihood of occurrence of such accidents more include rough terrain, continuous exposure to bad weather conditions, labor working under multiple contractors, and time pressure. You can involve both the workers and their contractors in the risk assessment process, explaining to them what has been planned to reduce the level of risk.

Try preventing the following things in particular:

  • Running over pedestrians
  • Overturning vehicles
  • Vehicle accidents caused by falls while climbing or working too close to power lines
  • Vehicle malfunctioning

Identifying Who May Be Harmed

Figuring out every possible factor that can harm individuals on the work site is the first step towards implementation of safety measures. This will include everyone from contractors, workers, self-employed individuals and even the general public. Pay special attention to the areas where vehicle movement is mandatory and you can’t exclude the public.

It is also possible to take note of the likely hazards during the designing stage while the construction cost estimation is being done. Take note of the design for safety and also ensure to calculate cost of making safety provisions.

Prepare an Action Plan after Evaluating the Risks

Evaluating the risks associated with each hazard on the site will help you calculate the possibility of harm and the level of severity. Check whether you have taken enough protective measures to ensure the safety of people on-site. Thoroughly revise all important aspects such as workplace design and signs and signals.  Ensure that all workers have the proper personal protective gear that is needed to complete the job safely.

Taking Action

Once the risk assessment process is completed, list all preventive measures based on priority. When it is time to take action, take all the workers and contractors along. Though your focus should be on implementing measures to prevent any accident from taking place in the first place, it will be equally important to have be prepared for the worst and have all emergency provisions in place too.

Author Bio: Laura Laurel is a Stanford graduate in civil engineer with specialization in Civil Designs, Cost Estimation and 3D Modeling. She began her career as a construction trainee at Viatechnik LLC, rose to be involved with road and bridge construction. She loves to write about Real Estate and Construction Related Subjects.

MAY IS NATIONAL ELECTRICAL SAFETY MONTH

Every year in the United States, workplace electrical incidents result in more than 300 deaths and 3,500 injuries.  While electrical hazards are not the leading cause of on-the-job injuries and fatalities, they are disproportionately fatal and costly.  For every 13 electrical injuries, a worker dies.   Knowing best practices of electrical safety are critical to reducing these staggering statistics because most of these injuries could be prevented. 

Electricity and electrical products play a fundamental role in how we conduct business every day. However, if not used or maintained appropriately, they can pose serious risks. Over the last ten years, more than 30,000 workers have been injured in workplace electrical accidents. These injuries not only disrupt the lives of the workers and their families, but also impact the productivity of employers. 

An arc flash is a sudden release of electrical energy through the air when a high-voltage gap exists and there is a breakdown between conductors. An arc flash gives off thermal radiation (heat) and bright, intense light that can cause burns and other injuries. Exposure to extreme temperatures burns the skin directly and ignites the clothing that the worker is wearing. 

An arc flash can be spontaneous, or can result from inadvertently bridging electrical contacts with a conducting object. Other causes may include dropped tools, the buildup of conductive dust, or corrosion. While great advances are being made to improve equipment design and thereby reduce the number of arc flash incidences, there is still much to be done. Each year, 2,000 workers are admitted to burn centers for treatment of severe arc flash burns. 

High-voltage arcs can also produce considerable pressure waves by rapidly heating the air and creating a blast. This pressure burst, or arc blast, can hit a worker with grenade-like force and send metal droplets from melted copper and aluminum electrical components shooting out at speeds up to 700 miles per hour – fast enough for the tiny shrapnel to penetrate ones body.  

Here are some important ways to prevent injuries and fatalities when working with electricity:

Every year, workers are injured or killed by circuits they thought were safely turned off. Simply shutting off the power is not enough. Hazardous conditions can still exist. You may not get a second chance to learn this important lesson, so always test before you touch! 

Most electrically-related fatalities and injuries could easily be avoided. Responsibility for your safety begins with you. Take steps to protect yourself everyday and make safety an integral part of how you do business. 

The number one way to prevent electrical injuries and fatalities is to turn off the equipment being worked on. It may take a little more time and planning, but your life and your health are worth it. Be proactive about de-energizing equipment and taking steps to ensure that your work environment remains safe. Working on energized equipment increases your risk of injury or death.

 

 Each day, nearly 3 million professionals participate in work activities where lockout/tagout procedures should be used. Unfortunately, too many workers still put themselves at risk by working energized or neglecting to follow their company’s lockout/tagout procedures. Year after year, failure to comply with the lockout/tagout standard is listed as one of the top OSHA violations. If the standards are followed, an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries could be prevented annually. Get in the habit of doing this important step every time! 
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be the major factor in differentiating between an electrical event you walk away from and one that requires months of painful healing. PPE comes in many different forms, including: hard hats, gloves, goggles, safety shoes, flame-resistant clothing, dielectric safety glasses, face shields, fall protection equipment, etc.Be sure to choose the PPE that is right for you and your circumstances. PPE should be:

  • Worn CORRECTLY; zipped, buttoned, etc
  • Appropriate for the hazard
  • Worn as the outermost layer
  • Maintained properly and removed from service when needed

This month serves as a reminder that we must always be extremely careful when working around electricity. 

  Source: ESFi (Electrical Safety Foundation international)

SEARCHING FOR MUDSLIDE VICTIMS; LATER SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS

The Washington State area devastated by a mudslide Saturday, March 22nd, has seen much clear-cut logging.  Native American tribes and environmentalists have long warned that clear-cut logging could raise the risk of landslides.  Although the mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest may appear solid and stolid, they are a geologically active part of the physical environment, including regular earthquakes, landslides, and the occasional volcano. Sometimes, human activities – including the clear-cut logging that patch-marks much of the region – have an important impact on forests, soils, and water patterns. 

The massive mudslide that hit  Saturday, March 22,  about 55 miles northeast of Seattle was part of that picture, all but wiping out the community of Oso across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River.  As rescue and recovery efforts continued Friday morning, officials reported that the number of confirmed dead remains at 17 with another nine bodies located but not yet recovered. Ninety more individuals are still unaccounted for – large numbers in a small community of around 180 people.

The demand for lumber, plywood, paper, and other wood products is part of an industry that once dominated Washington State and Oregon.  Logging’s impact has been a concern for a number of years. Large, older trees take up more water than younger stands, which can take decades to mature and may be cut down before they reach full maturity. The Tulalip Tribes were so concerned with landslides hitting the Stillaguamish River and its prime salmon habitat that they blocked a proposed timber sale above an earlier slide in 1988.”There were some very large clear-cuts planned for that area, which made us very concerned,” Kurt Nelson, a hydrologist with the tribes, told KUOW, the NPR affiliate at the University of Washington in Seattle.  “That reach of the North Fork has multiple, ancient, deep-seated landslides,” Mr. Nelson said. “There’s a lot of unstable terrain in that area.”  Landslides have followed logging in that area at least four times, KUOW reported.

“This had been known at least since the ’50s as one of the more problematic areas on the Stillaguamish for perennial landslides,” Mr. Kennard,  (Geomorphologist Paul Kennard, who worked for the Tulalip Tribes in the 1980s and now works for the National Park Service at Mt. Rainier) reported.  Although state logging regulations have been tightened in recent years, The Seattle Times reports that a clear-cut nine years ago “appears to have strayed into a restricted area that could feed groundwater into the landslide zone that collapsed Saturday.” 

Heavy rains and winds are hampering rescue efforts, by both professional rescue teams and volunteers. The careful use of heavy equipment, helicopters, and other means of rescue continue.  Personnel are wading through debris, muck, trees, ice, and foul water.

 Meanwhile, the request by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) for more federal assistance to help with recovery efforts in the Oso area has been approved. The money will be used to help local and state government agencies recover a portion of the estimated $4.5 million expected to be spent on emergency response, protective measures, and debris removal. Safety precautions should be used by all; pros and volunteers.  Wearing respiratory protection, gloves, goggles, hardhats, and protective clothing is important for the safety of those exposed to all types of hazards.

At his briefing Friday, Snohomish County Fire District Chief Travis Hots asked corporations and businesses in the region to donate money to help those affected. “Some of these people have lost their homes, some have lost their cars, some have lost their entire family,” he said. “Funerals will have to be paid for. Please dig deep.”  Chief Hots is the spokesman for search and recovery efforts.

 

Source: Christian Science Monitor, Associated Press

THE MOST IMPORTANT EQUIPMENT FOR DECONTAMINATION (GUEST POST)

The removal, reduction or neutralization of chemicals or contaminants is known as decontamination. It is very important to maintain safety especially at sites containing hazardous waste. Safety products protect the workers from the wastes which eventually contaminate vehicles, tools, on site equipments, etc. Not only that, it may also affect protective clothing and respiratory equipments. It is therefore a necessary step in many facilities.

One of the most important decontamination equipment is Hazmat Portable decontamination system. The portable system by Hazmat is a patented equipment which can easily be transported as its name suggests and can be assembled on site. It comes with the decon hoop having both external handles as well as ones inside, the pool, pump as well as a soap injector. These come with FSI North America’s, a division of Fire Safety International, certification, making it absolutely safe. Let us look at its advantages:

  • It is lightweight yet extremely durable. This makes it perfect for emergency situations besides ensuring longevity of the equipment.

  • Designed for quick set up through rapid inflation it also avoids water wastage by not only reducing the amount of water required for removal of contaminants but keeping the hazardous liquid waste water trapped in.

  • Its ¾” hose with its multi low flow precision spray nozzles the amount of water is directed and effectively cleans the contaminated or affected parts much better, avoiding a great deal of spillage. The precision of these are also such that not a lot of time is needed for removing the contaminants thereby each piece of equipment can serve more people in emergency situations, where availability might be limited. Given the nature of things today equipments providing broad coverage without using a great deal of water are sought after and this is where Hazmat delivers.

  • Aluminum pipe and tube won’t corrode thereby meaning a single piece of this equipment would last long.

  • Even though it does not provide the privacy of zippered doors allowing for complete body wash where necessary, its cost effective nature gives it a distinct edge over other models. This is one of the primary reasons why it is still preferred as an economical and convenient equipment by first response units. It is also often found in factories which might be dealing with hazardous waste material as a quick shower system.

  • When it comes to compactness of storage and handling especially if one needs to use it situations without a lot of available space, there is nothing like this system from Hazmat. It can ideally be placed in almost all sorts of areas and with the ease of assembling without tools the setting up time is almost negligible.

  • Not only does the design allow for ease of use whether in a full loop or half loop but there are two extended handles provided in case the existing ones are already extended to their maximum.

  • Perhaps what takes a piece of the cake is that one can ask for custom sizes upon special pre-order requests. As if all of the above wasn’t enough.  

With emergency situations it is always better to be safe and come prepared with the finest decontamination equipment. With Hazmat you get the best deal.

Author Bio:- Olivia Grey is freelance writter and has written many articles on safety for many websites like safety.com. She has written this article on the behalf of mitico.com. You can follow Olivia on twitter @ OliviaGrey8.

 

Interesting Trends in the Oil & Gas industry: A (Guest) Infographic

If you have never been involved with the energy industry, take time to read these interesting facts sent to us by Grattan Boyland of http://northseaworkwear.com.  He has given historical information in an infograph highlighting just how much is demanded of workers who work in oilfields on land, or offshore.  Providing us with power is a hazardous job that puts huge demands on workers, who must have the equipment to stay safe on the job.  Texas America Safety Company, our parent company, also provides the same personal protective equipment that is required for worker safety.  North-Sea-Workwear-IG

THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING CHEMICAL SAFETY

Look around your place of work or your home and you will be surprised by the number of chemicals you will find.  Chemicals that you use at home include gasoline, paints, fertilizers, lawn chemicals, bug spray, paint strippers, kerosene, bleach, other household cleaners, and even hair spray.  We must take care when cleaning to not mix cleaners with bleach, as the combination could cause unsafe fumes. 

Chemicals you may use at work are facility-specific solvents, laboratory chemicals, fuels, paint, office copier chemicals, correction fluid, lubricants and corrosives.  Other examples include toxics, corrosives, and solvents. As long as we understand and practise chemical safety and are provided the proper protection, these substances can be handled safely.

If your work requires you to come into contact with volatile chemicals on a daily basis, it can pose a risk to your long-term health. When new chemicals are approved for use on, in, or by humans, there has usually not been sufficient time allowed to determine whether they pose a long-term health threat. Daily exposure to chemicals has been associated with increased cancer risk, particularly when chemical particles are inhaled or ingested, even in tiny amounts. If your workplace provides on-the-job protection, such as protective suits, goggles, or masks, make sure you use them properly and daily to minimize the risk of chemical exposure.

Regardless of the type of chemicals you are around, there are various ways of being exposed.  (1) Ingestion, such as eating contaminated food; (having lunch in work area with airborne contaminants.)  (2) Inhalation: breathing in dusts, vapors or mists (i.e., mixing bags of concrete, cattle feed or similar chemicals without a respirator, or working in dusty environments. (3) Absorption: skin contact with a chemical affects eyes or can cause dermatitis. (4) Injection: forcing an agent into the body through a needle -needle stick or misuse of drugs.

By all means, protect yourself as much as you can!  Read container labels, material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and safe-work instructions before you handle a chemical; (How many times have you started a project that you didn’t read the instructions until after you failed to figure it out?)  Find eyewash stations before you begin working and know how to use them. 

As mentioned before, use personal protective equipment (PPE) for the task at hand; including chemical-splash goggles, a respirator, safety gloves, apron, steel-toed shoes, safety glasses with side shields, etc. Ensure the PPE fits properly and you are trained in its use.   Look for defects in the PPE such as cracks, missing parts, rips, etc.  Leave your contaminated clothing at work. If you wear the clothes home, you can expose your family to the hazards. (Better yet, wear disposable clothing where applicable.) 

These chemical hazard color codes and numbers on the labels are especially important for you to know: 

  • 1.      Red – Fire Hazard.
  • 2.      Yellow – Reactivity Hazard.
  • 3.      Blue – Health Hazard. 
  • 0 –Minimal Hazard
  • 1 – Slight Hazard
  • 2 – Moderate Hazard
  • 3 – Serious Hazard
  • 4 – Severe Hazard 

Other types of warnings on containers of chemicals include symbols, pictures with words, such as flammable, poisonous, etc.  Information on the white part of the label include National Fire Prevention Association labels – acid, radioactive, corrosive.  Hazardous Materials (HMIS) on the white section of the label recommends the type of personal protective equipment that should be used.  After you have READ labels first, consult the Material Safety Data Sheets if you are still unsure.  Chemical hazards can be very harmful to your body and health, and all those working around you.   If you suspect a chemical spill, call the National Response Center, toll-free, 800-424-8801 and report what you suspect has spilled and approximately how much is spilled.  The NRC also has an online reporting tool on their website.

Last, but not least, washing hands often is of the utmost importance.  Especially while you are working, before and after you eat, and before you leave your work.  Also, keep any chemicals (cleaning products, etc.) out of children’s reach and/or away from your pets.

 

FIVE WAYS TO DECREASE THE DANGER OF YOUR SMALL WORKSPACE (GUEST POST)

Workplaces and warehouses can be dangerous places;  it is important that they allow you to work quickly, efficiently, and safely. Small workplaces such as garages and small warehouses can often be poorly ventilated, and cluttered with numerous hazards. Here are five tips to help improve and maintain the safety of your workspace.

At the height of winter small workplaces can not only be a burden to work in, but also be a threat to your health. It goes without saying that warm clothing should be used including fingerless gloves which will not hamper you when performing any manual tasks. Professional standard space warmers should also be considered, as many domestic heaters are not up to the job and are highly inefficient. It is also worth checking the efficiency of any windows and doors, they should be providing a notable barrier from the cold and not allowing any heat to escape. The price of new energy efficient widows and doors may be costly initially, but they could save you a considerable amount on your heating bill and help to keep you warm during any harsh winter days. Heated flooring could also be considered, but the expense can be very large, and wearing thick socks and professional standard boots can be enough to stave off cold feet.

If you work with any large or dangerous machinery,  a cluttered workspace can become a death trap. Working around cluttered spaces is bad enough, but tripping or falling into heavy machinery can be fatal. To decrease clutter it is worth utilising some shelving for items that are frequently used, and find designated areas for items that are less frequently used (a place where they can be stored for long periods of time without being in your way). Any heavy machinery should be out of the way of other items, so space organising around machinery should be of the upmost importance.

If you have a large quantity of clutter, or some very bulky items, it can be worth contacting a professional clearance company. For example companies such as A1 Clearances specialise in the removal of large scale or bulky items from a workspace, and will often consider any item for removal regardless of size. If the clutter you have is manageable then you should designate one day to sift through everything in your workspace and take any redundant items to nearby skips or recycling facilities. By clearing out redundant items you will find that you have more shelf space as well as floor space, hence making your work less dangerous and more efficient.

Make Precautions For Fire 

Even if you are working in a small garage it is important that you lay down your own fire safety regime. The most important part of this is identifying and maintaining a fire exit. In a warehouse you should have an official fire exit and this should never be blocked. In a garage or similar workspaces you should have an exit that can always be reached, and no heavy machinery or other items should be in the way of this exit. Things you can normally dodge will become more of a tripping hazard when panicking due to fire and smoke. You should have the correct fire extinguishers in your workspace as well. For example, a water based extinguisher should be used for any wood or textile based fire, and a CO2 extinguisher for any flammable liquids or electrical equipment. Failing to use the right extinguisher can not only make a fire worse but could also cause a fatal explosion. 

Be Seen At All Times 

If a forklift truck is in operation then high visibility clothing must be worn by all others in the workspace. This simple precaution costs very little but it a proven lifesaver. A forklift truck can easily crush anything in its way, but wearing high visibility clothing can help the driver identify a potential hazard much more quickly. A hard hat should also be used when driving a forklift incase anything heavy is knocked off a high shelf.

 

Author Bio: Robert works with A1 Clearances , a UK-based domestic clearance & removals business.

 

WORKING SAFELY WITH CONCRETE AND CEMENT (GUEST POST)

 Whether you are a professional tradesperson or a DIY enthusiast, safety should be at the top of your list of priorities when working with concrete. Unbeknown to many, concrete and cement products must be treated with care during all stages of handling, application and storage. We have devised an essential guide to concrete safety so you can take care of yourself during an upcoming residential upgrade or larger commercial project. 

Dust protection 

The dust caused by the handling of cement can cause a real nuisance to tradespeople and home improvers, and precautions must be taken to ensure your airways remain clear during application. Always wear a dust mask and eye protectors to ensure dust does not get inhaled or make its way into your eyes, especially during the cutting or drilling of dried concrete. 

Cement dust can also cause considerable irritation to your skin, so make sure you wear good quality overalls to protect your entire body. Personal protective gear is essential to the correct and safe handling of cement and concrete, and will ensure you are fully safeguarded especially when working in enclosed areas. 

Handle with care 

It’s not just dry cement powder that causes complications during handling and application, wet concrete also causes difficulties and irritation. Make sure the wet concrete solution does not come into contact with your skin, which isn’t always easy with the splashes created during pouring.

 If the wet concrete does come into contact with your skin, eyes or nose, use a mild soap and clean water to remove. 

Working with concrete accessories 

The concrete accessories you use during the application process also come with their dangers. Concrete buckets must be treated with particular diligence, especially during movement. Never ride on the buckets whilst they are in motion, and take care when the buckets are being lowered, swung or pulled to a height. 

Forming pins can also result in a trip to the emergency room if precautions aren’t taken. It is recommended that you paint these forming pins in a bright colour to ensure they are fully visible to each and every contractor working on site. Opt for a reflective coating to prevent trips and falls come day or night. 

Use your head 

In addition to using respirators, goggles and protective overalls, you must wear a hard hat to protect your head during preparation, application and storage. Head injuries are a common occurrence on site but by using a hard hat you can ensure you are fully protected whether working at height or at ground level.

 Think about your back 

When working with concrete products, it is all too easy to damage your back and legs with incorrect lifting techniques. Make sure you are fully clued up on how to move heavy materials, lifting with a straight back and bent legs is a sure-fire way of preventing serious back injury. If the concrete mix you are looking to move is too heavy, don’t suffer and struggle in silence, ask a friend or work colleague to assist you.

 

This post was written by Brittany Thorley. She works for ReadyMix Concrete (http://www.readymixonline.co.uk/) and regularly advises both professional contractors and homeowners about health and safety when working with concrete and cement.