Using Baumax concrete mixers from B&S Commercial Power for your construction project will save you time, effort, and costs. While there are numerous benefits to using a concrete mixer, there are certain hazards associated with concrete mixers and handling concrete. We have created a hazard and resolutions guide to highlight these risks and to show you how to keep yourself protected.
Concrete Mixers at B&S Commercial Power:
B&S Commercial Power is a Cape Town-based supplier of Baumax concrete mixers. Baumax concrete mixers are the ideal choice for mixing concrete for work or at-home purposes. We supply a range of Baumax concrete mixers so that you can find the best concrete mixer for your concrete project requirements.
When it comes to mixing concrete for construction, a concrete mixer is the best way to go. Construction projects generally need vast quantities of mixed concrete in a small time frame to ensure the entire project keeps running smoothly. A concrete mixer will produce perfectly mixed concrete quickly, therefore saving you time and allowing you to focus on other aspects of your project.
Concrete mixers are an investment for any construction company. The initial cost of purchasing a Baumax concrete mixer from B&S Commercial Power is quickly outweighed by the costs of hiring employees to manually mix concrete. You save money on labour costs and also reduce the effort needed to mix perfect concrete. Concrete mixers make mixing concrete efficient but there are certain hazards associated with handling concrete and using concrete mixers.
How to Protect Yourself from Concrete and Concrete Mixer Hazards:
Keep yourself protected from facing the hazards of handling concrete and working with a concrete mixer by following our hazard resolutions.
Hazard: Dry Cement
The first step in making concrete in your Baumax concrete mixers is to add the correct ratio of water into your concrete mixer. This is then followed by the correct ratio of dry cement and then your chosen fine and coarse aggregates. Working with concrete and concrete mixers is hazardous due to the dry cement.
Handling dry cement is hazardous due to the risk of being exposed to silica dust particles in the cement. Silica, or silicon dioxide, is a naturally occurring mineral. Silica is an important ingredient in cement as it increases the strength of concrete and reduces permeability. Generally, around 25% of cement is silica.
Silica exposure is unfortunately common in the construction industry. When working with dry cement, you are exposed to silica particles in the cement dust in these few ways.
- When you open cement bags.
- Whilst you are pouring cement bags quickly into concrete mixers.
- Concrete mixers producing cement dust whilst turning.
Although silica is important for concrete strength, it poses various health risks to people who handle dry cement. Silica particles can be inhaled, and therefore most of the risks are associated with the throat and lungs. Initial exposure to silica can cause throat and nose irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
After you are exposed, there is the risk of developing asthma, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. You may also develop kidney disease, renal disease, and heart disease. Years of exposure to silica dust particles can result in Silicosis. Silicosis is a type of lung disease where your lungs are internally inflamed and scarred with lesions. Silicosis results in difficulty breathing, coughing, and cyanosis.
Alongside the dangers of inhaling silica dust particles, they can also get into your eyes. Silica dust particles are too small to be seen with the naked eye. This increases the risk as you will not be aware of your eyes are being exposed to silica dust particles. Silica dust can cause either immediate or delayed irritation in your eyes. The irritation ranges from transient redness to severe chemical burns to blindness in extreme cases.
The health hazards of being exposed to silica dust particles when working with dry cement can be resolved by protecting yourself in these selected ways.
Face Mask: Every time you handle dry cement you must wear a face mask. Select a thick face mask and ensure your mouth and nose are covered at all times. A face mask will prevent you from inhaling cement dust and silica particles.
Goggles: Clear, thick goggles are also important as they will keep your eyes protected from silica particles.
Ventilation: Whenever you are working with dry cement, do so in a well-ventilated area. If possible, set up your concrete mixers in a protected, outdoor space. A well-ventilated area will ensure that there is airflow and reduce the cement dust particles in the air.
Pour Cement Slowly: To avoid creating too much cement dust when using your concrete mixers, you should pour the dry cement into the concrete mixer drum slowly.
Hazard: Wet Concrete
The Baumax concrete mixers produce perfectly mixed concrete within a few minutes. The quick mixing cycle ensures that you have access to mixed concrete at any moment of requirement during concrete construction. There are certain hazards associated with handling wet concrete from your Baumax concrete mixer.
Wet concrete is hazardous due to its drying, abrasive, and caustic properties. Cement is made up of limestone, which is an alkaline compound. Alkaline compounds are corrosive, therefore when the wet concrete comes into contact with skin, you can develop skin ulcers or be burnt. Wet concrete can cause severe third-degree burns. This often occurs when wet concrete gets lodged in a worker’s boot, gets under the protective clothing, or soaks through the protective clothing.
Skin contact with wet concrete can also result in dermatitis. Dermatitis is a serious skin condition that causes the skin to become red, dry, swollen, and cracked. This can be extremely painful and possibly result in employees being prevented from working. Most types of cement have an additive to prevent the risk of dermatitis, but consistent skin exposure to wet concrete may still result in this painful skin condition.
Another risk arises when you are pouring wet concrete from your Baumax concrete mixer. Wet concrete is slippery. If there is any wet concrete on the ground or under your shoes, you could slip and fall. This can lead to your own injury or employee injury.
These protective measures must always be adhered to when working with wet cement.
Alkali-resistant Gloves: The gloves you wear must be alkali-resistant so that they do not become corroded or damaged whilst working with wet concrete. Alkali-resistant gloves will keep your hands protected from the burning qualities of wet concrete.
Skin Protection: Ensure that every part of your skin is covered when working with wet concrete from your concrete mixer. We recommend wearing tight-fitting overalls.
Check Clothing: Do regular checks of your clothing and boots for any possible patches of wet concrete.
Wash Hands: If your hands or skin comes into contact with wet concrete, you need to wash the skin immediately. Use fresh, cold water and non-alkaline soap to prevent any skin damage.
Non-slip Boots: Always wear non-slip boots to avoid slipping on wet concrete.
Be Careful When Pouring: Ensure that you are careful when pouring the wet concrete from your concrete mixers. Make sure that there are no traces of wet concrete left on the floor or the external surface of the concrete mixer.
Hazard: Overloading Concrete Mixers
Concrete mixers come with specific drum sizes that can only handle a certified quantity of concrete at one time. B&S Commercial Power offers a range of concrete mixers with various drum sizes to ensure that there is a drum size capacity suitable for your project.
Construction projects are usually time-sensitive, which can lead to workers trying to cut corners to increase work efficiency. One common mistake workers make is overloading the concrete mixer in the hope to mix more concrete in a shorter frame of time. Overloading your concrete mixer can result in poorly mixed concrete. Concrete that is not homogenously mixed can result in pockets of cement or aggregates in your poured concrete. This can result in weak concrete, concrete being permeable, and structural failures. This can become hazardous for workers and the safety of the constructed building.
Overloading your concrete mixer is also hazardous for the machine. Overloading can put a strain on the machine arm and cause the concrete mixer to break. This will result in needed to repair or replace your concrete mixer. Overloading your concrete mixer can therefore cause unnecessary costs to your construction project.
Always adhere to the stipulated concrete quantity that your concrete mixer can handle. For large construction projects, we recommend choosing the Baumax BS500 500L Concrete Mixer fitted with Baumax RX200 2:1 Engine. If you need more concrete than what your concrete mixer can provide, consider investing in numerous concrete mixers for your construction project.
Hazard: Employee Injury
Mixing concrete by hand is time-consuming, laborious, and can result in muscular strain for your employees. Baumax concrete mixers take the effort out of mixing concrete, but your employees are still at risk of injury in other ways.
Employees face muscular strain and injury when carrying the cement bags to load into the concrete mixer. Cement bags generally weigh 35kg, and improper lifting or holding this weight in an awkward position can cause muscular injury.
Employees who regularly work with concrete will consistently be exposed to the risk of muscular strain. Daily carrying of cement bags or transporting numerous wheelbarrows of concrete from the concrete mixer to the project site can cause prolonged damage to your employee’s muscles.
Keep your employees safe from injury with these protective measures.
Training: Provide your employees with adequate training on carrying, transporting, and working with hazardous concrete materials.
Forklifts: Hire forklifts when there is a huge delivery of cement to your construction site to reduce the amount of carrying your employees will have to do.
Personal Protective Equipment: Ensure every employee working with concrete has adequate protective equipment.
Employ Enough Employees: Employee enough employees to ensure that every construction project is completed efficiently and without placing unnecessary strain on a few employees.
About B&S Commercial Power:
B&S Commercial Power is an importer and manufacturer of robust power tools. We have all your power tool needs covered with our wide range of products. Whether you need power tools for commercial or at-home use, we are always happy to assist you.
Your safety and experience when using B&S Commercial Power tools are of the uttermost importance. This is why we only supply you with high-quality tools with safety features from reputable brands, such as the Baumax concrete mixers.
Follow our hazard resolutions to keep yourself protected from the hazards of working with concrete and concrete mixers.