Whether it’s a home renovation project or a large public one, concrete work can be risky. Concrete dust can hurt the eyes, skin, and lungs. When used incorrectly, powerful concrete cutting tools can leave a worker with anything from minor lacerations to serious injuries.
There are hundreds of thousands of concrete workers worldwide. To avoid getting hurt, they’re trained to use a variety of safety gear to protect themselves. One of the perks of hiring a professional who offers commercial and residential concrete services is that you don’t have to put yourself or your surroundings at risk, especially if you need demolition help.
While there are never any guarantees, by hiring a trained and experienced concrete cutting contractor, you can significantly reduce the chances of mishaps. Here are a few ways a professional may seek protection from the hazards of concrete work:
#1 They Protect Their Eyes
While any type of abrasive dust can damage the eyes, concrete dust can be especially high-risk. If the eyes aren’t quickly washed after exposure, a contractor can suffer from redness, burns, or blindness.
Contractors wear eye protection whenever there’s concrete dust in the air. If the site is especially dusty, they wear special goggles. When the work is complete, they clean them thoroughly to clear them of any dust for use in the future. Many contractors also avoid wearing contact lenses during work.
If there is exposure, contractors quickly flush their eyes with clean water until help arrives.
#2 They Protect Their Skin
Despite their best efforts, contractors can suffer from cuts and scrapes. This broken skin can be vulnerable to concrete dust. Chromium in the cement can cause concrete workers with exposed skin to develop allergies, including rashes and ulcers.
When concrete dust mixes with the sweat and moisture on the skin, it can become especially dangerous. Sometimes the water is used to cool down powerful concrete cutting tools, which can also result in wet concrete. As a highly alkaline material, wet concrete can burn through the skin.
To protect themselves from these issues, contractors wear full-length pants, long sleeve shirts, gloves, and boots. This gear may be waterproof and alkali resistant. They’re especially mindful of protecting any damaged skin. Before eating, drinking, smoking, or using the toilet during a break, they wash their hands thoroughly. Moreover, they avoid these activities in areas with concrete dust.
#3 They Protect Their Lungs
Concrete dust contains a substance named silica. Also known as quartz, exposure to this can be dangerous. Inhaling a little silica can irritate the mouth, throat, and nose, and make breathing difficult. Repeated exposure to silica can result in a disease called silicosis, which damages the lungs. Exposure to quartz can also result in other serious conditions such as asthma and lung cancer.
Contractors take several measures to protect their lungs from concrete dust. They wear respiratory protection, work in well-ventilated areas, and avoid consuming food where dust is in the air.
These are some of the ways a contractor protects themselves from the hazards of concrete work. Aside from training and gear, contractors may work in teams for further protection. If you’re hiring a contractor, then make sure they have a strong safety policy.