If you're overseeing a construction site, perhaps your most essential responsibility is to make sure the job gets done on time with minimal risk to the people on the site. That means following specific safety regulations and not allowing yourself to be lulled into the belief that a process is completely safe.
Concrete pumping may seem like an uninteresting and risk-free part of the industry, but it can come with some challenges that you need to be careful to avoid. Below, you'll find a guide to some things you should look out for when pumping concrete in order to guarantee that you take the appropriate steps toward safety.
Any fluid that's being manipulated under pressure has the potential to cause an issue when that pressure is released, but concrete pumping presents one of the most difficult challenges. The mixture of liquid and solid components means that clogs happen on a somewhat regular basis and you might find yourself tempted to abandon safety principles to clear them.
Never attempt to open a pressurized valve or break up a clog while your concrete pump is still running. The sudden change in pressure can cause the pump to respond in unexpected ways and can leave you vulnerable to a sudden and violent stream of material that could cause substantial injury.
Sometimes safety on a job site is as simple as making sure that you're standing in the right place. Most people are aware of the necessity of avoiding the path of heavy equipment, but dodging the flow of your concrete pump is equally important.
Keep track of the location and orientation of the nozzles at all times. Make sure to never cross in front of them, even when the pump isn't in use. You can't read the minds of other people and you may not be aware when an activation is imminent, so it's best to avoid the situation entirely.
Successful concrete work requires being able to visualize the full field and check for any potential issues or contaminants as they arise. This means that there's very little performance benefit that comes to operating your concrete pump in the dark, so it's a very poor way to decide to save time. Make sure that you run the pump in the daylight hours only, or at least under properly rigged construction lighting that provides the brightest possible conditions for operations.