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Concrete Pumping: Contractor Responsibilities to Reduce Safety Risks

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Concrete pumping is a popular technique for dispensing concrete in construction jobs. However, it presents various work-related safety risks that, if not managed, can cause injuries and property damage on the site. As a contractor, it is your responsibility to deliver a safe workplace and complete the project without any problems. With that in mind, here are some responsibilities to reduce safety risks when working with and around concrete pumping equipment.

Prepare the Concrete Pumping Site

Proper preparation of the worksite helps reduce accidents and injuries. First, clear out all clutter and equipment to leave adequate space for the pumping truck and other pieces of machinery, such as the mix trucks. Ensure that the site surface is adequately prepared to handle the weight of the equipment. Doing so prevents accidents such as tip-overs, which could lead to property damage, injuries and downtime.

Additionally, account for overhead powerlines and ensure the boom truck won't be used near them. If powerlines exist near the worksite, establish a danger zone by using signage and cones. Also, offer electrical and power safety training to employees on the site to prevent electrical accidents.

Hire Trained Operators

As a contractor, one of your duties is to deliver a cost-effective project by managing costs on the site. However, one area you don't want to skimp on is operator hire. Concrete pumping may seem like an easy task, but it should be left to trained operators. Poor operation of the pumping track or control of the boom can lead to fatal accidents on the site.

Make sure that you hire experienced concrete pumping operators. If the project stretches for long hours during the day, you can have two or three operators alternate shifts. Doing so will reduce human error attributed to fatigue due to long hours of work.

Oversee Equipment Inspection

One essential task to help maintain safety in a construction site is inspecting equipment before every use. Concrete pumps, mix trucks and other equipment should be thoroughly examined every day. However, if you leave this task to your personnel, they may fail to do it appropriately. Thus, oversee the inspection or delegate the job to a specific individual. Provide a checklist that includes the following:

  • Checks the trucks' oils and fluids
  • Inspect the boom filter gauges
  • Inspect the switches and replace blown ones
  • Grease the back end of the pump
  • Ensure prop switches are working correctly

In addition to the daily checks, plan for scheduled maintenance of the concrete pumps, especially if you're using them over a prolonged period of itme.

Accidents during a concrete pumping project can lead to downtime, injuries and property damage, all of which lead to losses. Observe these safety measures to ensure safety throughout the project.