Concrete work requires one to push, pull, bend, lift, carry, and hold. Learn and adapt proper techniques for moving materials and equipment. To reduce and/or prevent back injuries, keep a natural position with your body, avoid twisting while working, and rotate job tasks so you are not in one position for more than two hours. Coordinate lifts with co-workers and use equipment when possible to lift and move products. The nature of the work requires much bending and kneeling. Utilize equipment, such as knee pads, to protect the knees.

Dust Control (Silica)
When cutting dry concrete, exercise caution as to a possible exposure of silica. During training, help employees understand the risk of exposure to silica. There are a few suggested methods that can be utilized to help control this exposure. Using water, or the wet method, can prove effective in suppressing the amount of dust created or dust released if one is cutting into concrete or sandblasting. Another alternative is to have a ventilation system. N-95 respirators are recommended for work with silica.

Concrete Trucks
When possible, ensure that the truck is parked on a level surface. Parking on a slope will shift the center of gravity of the truck and increasing the potential of a tip-over. Access should be wide enough for the truck and overhead clearance should allow for the truck to pass without danger of touching overhead lines. Never stand on the shoot.  

Overhead Hazards
When utilizing a boom, position it away from possible contact with power lines or other overhead hazards. When selecting tools and equipment, make sure they are the appropriate length for the project and site. Be aware that the grade may change during the pouring of concrete. As the grad increases, always be aware of your tools in relation to overhead power lines.

Determine the appropriate path for the hose to run to the location where cement is being pumped. To limit the risk of injury, make sure that the hose has a clear pathway. Look for potential hazards such as hoses running underneath ladders and scaffolds as well as other people that could be hit or struck by the hose. Train employees to recognize the hazard of blockages and being aware of the possibility of hose whip. Do not allow air to get into the hopper.

One of the great dangers posed to concrete construction workers is motorists. Those that lay cement, or form curbs and gutters, must take precautionary steps to avoid traffic-caused incidents. Clearly mark off work area and ensure that traffic is moved away from workers. Use flaggers if necessary.  

Eye Protection
Wear eye protection to avoid foreign objects or dust from penetrating the eye. Goggles can be worn if concrete is being cut or ground down. Ensure goggles are designed for dust exposure.   

Ask a Safety Consultant

Laborors' Health & Safety Fund of North America website
OSHA Concrete Manufacturing Pocket Guide 
YouTube video - Laying the Groundwork: Concrete Construction Safety

NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.