Concrete cutting is a very dangerous job, especially when people are ill-equipped and not properly outfitted for the work. When sending your team out to the job site, you have to make sure that these individuals are fully prepared for the various hazards that they face. Following are several important things that construction managers should know about personal protective equipment for concrete cutting.
One of the most important things to know about this work is that it can be very loud. In certain instances, such as when diamond drilling technologies are used, the sounds of cutting through concrete can be easily minimized. In these cases, there is no significant need for ear protection given that the resulting noise pollution will be nominal.
When percussive cutting methods are used, however, the noise levels can be quite extreme, especially given that workers will be within very close proximity of the cutting equipment. As such, ear plugs and other noise reduction gear must be employed. This way, workers will not have to worry about damages to their hearing as the result of constant and prolonged exposure to excessive loud noises.
It is additionally important for people to have the right types of footwear in these environments. This is especially true when percussive methods are being employed. Due to this fact, all workers must have steel-toed boots. These are designed to protect the feet from hard blows so that the dangers of a slipped drilling or cutting unit can be limited.
Special hand gear is sometimes required depending upon the environment in which the work is being performed and the nature of the equipment being used. This is often special gloves that have slip-proof palms so that the grip on the related equipment is both stable and secure. If you are unsure as to whether or not your team is required to have this type of gear, be sure to look up the safety requirements for your industry as these are applicable to your geographic area.
Whenever cutting is done in a location where heavy objects are overhead, those who are performing this work or who are simply in the immediate area must don hard hats. This is vital for protecting the head. All hard hats should be adjusted to suit the individual so that a secure and acceptable fit is obtained. Keep in mind that falling objects are always an issue when percussive tools are being used given the sheer, vibrational force that these methods entail.
It is also a good idea to for all parties to wear brightly colored safety vests, especially when performing their work by the roadside where swift-moving vehicles may or may not see them. These can be bright yellow or orange neon in hue. This helps to alert outside parties that work is being performed within the immediate area.
Good signage is also key in these environments given that it can inform both on-site workers and the general public that high-powered equipment is being used. Working with a compliance consultant is an excellent way to learn more about the specific requirements for your project. This is all the more true if you have not had to implement or follow safety protocols for this type of work before.