Safety is important during all phases of ready mix concrete construction work, from ordering materials, to transporting equipment to the construction site, to the actual construction work.
First, a phone call detailing your order is required. This phone call is so important because early notification of contractor needs allows the supplier to manage people, materials, and equipment so that the job is done efficiently and safely.
When placing this call, your discussion should include the yardage and the mix design needed. The dispatcher will find out the slump and determine setting characteristics.
Youíll also want to talk about job location so that the Ready Mix Supplier can figure out how many trucks will be needed for the job. The contractor should also specify to the Ready Mix Supplier any additional personal protective equipment that will be needed. Once the order is placed, itís important that the dispatcher discuss the delivery with the plant manager.
The Ready Mix driver should always start by inspecting his or her equipment, to make sure that he can properly and safely provide service to the contractor on the job site.
Next, itís time to move on to the job site. First, youíll need to plan for the efficient and safe delivery and placement of the concrete. Youíll also want to ensure that everyone on site is wearing the proper personal protective equipment, including the appropriate work boots, gloves, and hard hats. It is important to inspect the job site for potential hazards as well. Nonessential personnel or pedestrian traffic should be restricted from entering the area.
Contact with overhead power lines is one of the most frequent causes of construction related death. Itís important to be sure that vehicle placement will be clear of all power lines. When driving under an overhead power line, a minimum clearance of 4 feet is required, and when operating, at least 10 feet is required. These minimum distances increase as the voltage increases over 50 kilowatts.
When approaching the designated site, ensure that no personnel are around or under the load. Slow down the drum speed or stop it entirely in order to stabilize the load. Be sure that the ground is level so that the truck doesnít tip.
When the load discharge begins, the weight transfers from the left side of the truck to the right. Even on level ground, this could result in a rollover. The Ready Mix driver should always set up to the shoots, and when the truck is moving, the shoots must be locked in place to prevent swinging. When discharging the mix, everyone should handle the shoots with extra care to avoid accidents. When the shoot is full of concrete, the weight of the shoot is tremendous and can cause serious injury.
One of the major hazards associated with concrete delivery is being struck by or caught between the shoot and a stationary object. No one should stand on the shoot at any point or swing on the shoot for any reason.
When itís time to leave, make provisions to handle trucks leaving the site. Merging from or into traffic lanes presents a hazard because of variable speeds of travel. Be sure you know where the correct wash out site is, and that you only wash the truck in that location.
When on site, there are various methods of delivery, each of which require special safety efforts. First, avoid standing or walking in front of powered concrete buggies. Make sure there is adequate clearance between the buggy and a stationary object. Also, be aware of tripping hazards on slopes. The buggies are gas operated and may present a carbon monoxide hazard if used in a confined or enclosed space. To prevent tipping the conveyor or pump truck should be level to within three degrees.
Remain a safe distance from power lines. Electricity is the leading cause of pump related deaths. Do not allow the hopper to go empty at any time during the pour. Do not place yourself between the conveyor or concrete pump, or its parts and a stationary object. No one is to stand on the hopper grate at any point for any reason. This is known as the No Point rule.
Safety when cleaning out (or, chipping) Ready Mix drums is also very important. Possible hazards include excessive noise, silica dust, electrical, and more. Adding ventilation by using fans is one way to combat hazards in the air. If your team cleans out a Ready Mix drum, you must make sure that as a company you have a respiratory plan, lockout procedures, a confined space program, and proper safety training.