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Working Safely with Concrete

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Whether you are in the construction field for work or you are doing some renovations and building on your residential property, working with cement comes with its own set of hazards and safety risks. There are definitely some things to keep in mind when working with cement, and along with those considerations are the procedures and habits that you can prepare for to reduce the chances of an accident. Like anything else, it is important to know the dangers of the material so that you can safely get through all of your projects with no harm done to yourself or others.

Protecting Your Back

The first thing to remember about concrete is that itís heavy, even in small quantities. From the very beginning you should treat your concrete as you would any other heavy object when it comes to your back. Do not twist as you lift, and always remember to bend at the knees and lift with your legs. The goal is to get through your project without dislocating a disc in your back or giving yourself a hernia, because that could give you some damage that would last far longer than your projects. If you need help carrying the material, be sure to have someone around that is willing to do so at the last minute. Another way to avoid having to carry the concrete further than you have to is to try and have it dropped off at or at least near where you want it permanently placed. Also, donít forget to let your tools and machines do the hard work if you have any nearby. A wheelbarrow, for example, could be especially handy in moving the material.

Protecting Your Eyes

As with any construction project, the use and handling all kinds of materials can directly impact your sight if your eyes are not properly protected. The best thing to do is to go to your local hardware store and purchase some utility glasses that will help you keep your vision safe. Cement can be especially hazardous if you arenít careful. Once the gritty wet material is dried up it can harden and become equally as dangerous. In addition to your eyes, a hard hat should always be worn when you are doing any kind of construction work. When you are busy moving around materials and working with tools, you never know what might hit you in the head accidentally. Itís always much better to be safe than sorry.

Protecting Your Skin

Concrete is full of abrasive sand that can harm your skin if it comes in close contact with it. Most people who have done projects with concrete will tell you that it can be rather difficult to avoid making contact with the sand at some point. It is important that as soon as touch the wet concrete to wash your hands immediately. Aside from using gloves, this is one of the best ways to minimize your chances of getting some bad skin irritation from this material. If concrete stays too long on your hands, neck, feet or anywhere with exposed skin, it can cause some very intense burns especially as it starts to dry. This is why it is a good idea to wear waterproof clothing, because even as your regular clothing can get wet from the concrete it can still seep through to your body. Rubber boots are another good option, as they will definitely protect your feet from getting soaked by the concrete too. Overall, wearing layers is something that should be done with any project of this nature.

Written by Robert Thompson, owner of TLC Lawncare & Landscaping, where they are one of the preferred concrete contractors in Columbia, MO has to offer. When it comes to decorative or stamped patios, TLC is here to help!

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