FAQs: Home Safety Advice for DIY Concrete Projects
It’s easy to order ready mix concrete for a DIY concrete project, but without the right preparation and care, it’s also easy for things to go wrong. Working with concrete does come with its own risks, so if you’re planning to carry out some construction around your home or garden, read up on these health and safety FAQs so you know how to stay safe when working with ready mix concrete.
Q: What safety equipment should I wear when working with concrete?
A: The most important thing to know when working with concrete is that a wet mix is caustic, and can cause severe burns on exposed skin. You need to cover yourself as much as possible, so invest in PPE (personal protective equipment) and wear it during the project. Proper PPE should include:
- Gloves — wear thick, alkali-resistant gloves to protect your hands from burns.
- Long sleeve shirt — wear a long sleeve shirt and tuck it into your trousers to cover up as much of your body as possible. It’s a good idea to tuck the sleeves into your gloves if you can, to ensure even greater coverage.
- Trousers — dedicated, reinforced work trousers are recommended as they provide protection against abrasion and wear and tear. Again, long legged-trousers are best because you can tuck the legs into your work boots, covering your skin and preventing wet concrete from getting into your boots.
- Knee pads — when finishing concrete, you’ll be kneeling down quite a lot, so knee pads offer extra protection from damage for this vital stage.
- Boots — sturdy rubber boots are best for concrete construction as you can easily wash wet concrete from them while still receiving enough protection from wear and tear.
- Eyewear — use strong safety goggles/glasses to protect from any wet concrete splashback.
Q: Is it safe to use a wheelbarrow to transport concrete?
A: It is a long as you are responsible. The main safety consideration when using a wheelbarrow is the distance from the mixer truck to the pour site and the accessibility of the worksite in general. An obstacle-ridden route to the pour site will be much more dangerous, as will uneven and unstable ground. If you’re working alone, transporting multiple loads of concrete across a worksite can be physically demanding. For instances like these, it’s best to use a pump hire service.
Q: What should I do if I get wet concrete on my skin?
A: If this happens, stop working immediately and wash the concrete off with cool clean water, before it has a chance of causing lasting damage. Concrete burns to the skin cause blistering and potential scarring if left untreated, so it’s important to treat the affected area as soon as possible. If the concrete gets in your eyes or other sensitive areas such as nose or mouth, you need to wash the affected area immediately and seek medical attention.
Q: What should I do to make my worksite safe before delivery?
A: The most important thing is to make sure you have enough space to work in, so rid the worksite of clutter and create a clear, safe route to your pour site. Be aware that spilt concrete can create a slip hazard, so take care at all times and clean up any spillages as they occur.
Q: What should I do with my PPE after finishing the job?
A: Once the work is completed, you should thoroughly wash your PPE and check it for any damage. When taking off your PPE, handle it with care; there could be patches of wet concrete stuck to your workwear. Clothing which is saturated with wet concrete can cause irritation the longer you wear it — as it can seep into the material and through to your skin. It’s prudent to have multiple pieces of PPE so you can change into fresh ones as necessary.
Q: How do I know the concrete I order is safe to use?
A: By using a trusted, reputable concrete supplier, you can be sure that the ready mix concrete you order will be right for your application. Quality-assured concrete — which meets BSI Kitemark regulations — supplied by a knowledgeable professional team, will ensure a safe, sturdy and reliable finished product, assuming it is poured and cured properly.
Ever Readymix Concrete provides swift concrete delivery at competitive prices throughout the Yorkshire region. If you require ready mix concrete for DIY concrete project, we can supply the right mix for you. If you need specific advice on how to handle ready mix concrete or have any further questions, we are here to help, so get in touch today.