IN: Competition advice

Working safely with concrete and cement

An essential guide to concrete and cement safety for big or small projects.

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Whether you’ve got lots of experience working with concrete and cement or are new to the medium, concrete and cement products must be treated with care during all stages of handling, application and storage. Here’s how you can protect yourself from incurring minor or major injuries.

Protect your eyes 

Proper eye protection is essential when working with cement or concrete. Eyes are particularly vulnerable to blowing dust, splattering concrete and other foreign objects. Take some time think about the kind of work you’ll be doing and which safety equipment might be needed for your project. Perhaps you might need to wear goggles or safety glasses with side shields.

Protect your back

All materials used to make concrete – cement, coarse aggregate, sand and water – are quite heavy, even in small quantities. When lifting heavy materials, your back should be straight, legs bent, and the weight between your legs as close to the body as possible. Do not twist your waist while lifting or carrying these items. Rather than straining your back with a heavy load, get help. Use your head, not your back.

Protect your skin

Did you know that if cement comes into contact with the skin it could cause skin irritations or burns, including third-degree burns? That is why it’s important to protect your skin by wearing protective clothing or washing the skin immediately after it has come into contact with cement. Prolonged contact between cement and skin surfaces, eyes and clothing may result in burns that are quite severe. If irritation persists consult a doctor. For deep burns or large affected skin areas, seek medical attention immediately.

What to wear and how to avoid skin irritation

Wear waterproof gloves, a long-sleeved t-shirt, long pants and rubber boots when working with cement. The best way to avoid skin irritation is to wash frequently with a pH neutral soap and clean water.

 

 

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