Concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials, but it's also among the most difficult to cut through. Fortunately, there exist a variety of methods and powerful tools for cutting concrete with relative ease.
That said, concrete cutting is an inherently dangerous job that requires proper planning and handling to do safely and correctly. Below are a few basic guidelines for ensuring safety while cutting through concrete.
Learn how to use your cutting equipment correctly.
There are many different types of concrete cutters out there, and each works differently. Having experience working with a particular type of cutter doesn't mean you can operate other types of cutting equipment correctly.
Never use any new cutter until you're familiar with its safe and correct operation.
Always wear the proper personal protection equipment (PPE).
Concrete cutting workplaces expose people to a variety of hazards. Some common types of hazards that you may be exposed to while cutting through concrete include:
- Noise generated by cutting equipment
- Dust and flying projectiles
- Risk of injury inflicted by cutting equipment
- Electrical hazards
In order to protect yourself from the above workplace hazards and more, you must wear the appropriate PPE, such as a respirator or dust mask, safety goggles, rubber boots, ear plugs, and more.
Keep in mind that PPE must be worn properly to work effectively and should be used in addition to other safety procedures.
Suppress concrete dust levels whenever possible.
A lot of toxic (silica-containing) dust is produced during concrete cutting jobs, and it is important to keep the dust levels at a minimum to prevent respiratory diseases. One way to achieve this is by wet cutting. This work technique involves suppressing dust with water while cutting through concrete.
You should, however, keep in mind that the use of water will increase the risk of electrical hazards when using electric cutters.
Only cut through concrete in places with proper ventilation.
Unless you're cutting concrete out in the open, you'll need to take additional steps to ensure there is proper ventilation at your worksite.
In addition to the dust produced, concrete cutting equipment that runs on gas or diesel can release toxic fumes when in use. When working in an enclosed building or tight spaces, it's important to ensure good air circulation so as to keep the air fresh and clean.
Need help with your concrete cutting project? Don't hesitate to ask a concrete cutting technician for assistance.