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With over $20 billion in construction work being done every month, the industry has never been healthier. If you’re a developer or you’re in the construction industry, you know that there can be a rush to build as much as you can as fast as possible. Unfortunately, this can mean short cuts are taken and if the short cut is unsafe, it can have terrible consequences. You should always consider how to safely perform the task at hand, such as cutting through concrete blocks.
Safely cutting concrete requires personal protective equipment (PPE) including; safety glasses, hearing protection and a respirator. It is also good practice to have a wet kit to attach to a hose to minimise airborne dust, and a well-maintained saw.
Any power cutting can be the source of a lot of danger and liability on a construction site, so the safety of yourself and your team is essential. This post highlights several important things to consider in making your worksite, and your cutting, safe.
What Type of PPE Should Be Worn When Cutting Concrete Blocks?
Eye protection, long garments for protecting arms and legs, and high-quality boots with strong treads are critical pieces of equipment.
One of the most essential elements of running a safe workplace is to provide everyone with basic safety equipment. Making sure that your workers are well protected is part of your job description as a site manager, supervisor, or contractor.
Beyond sturdy boots, long pants and garments to protect your arms, you’ll need to have some additional gear. There will be a lot of water from the cutting, so boots with weak treads could lead to slips and falls. There will be lots of debris flying into the air, so workers need to be prepared for that.
Eye protection is essential when cutting concrete blocks. Safe concrete cutting should entail masks, eye protection, and face shields for anyone who is working in the cutting area. Chips and shards can be thrown up from the cutting site and can injure or even blind you without proper protection.
There will also be lots of noise produced by the cut. Be sure everyone has ear protection that’s up to code.
How Can I Prevent My Team From Inhaling Concrete Dust?
Performing a “wet cut” when possible, and giving your team respiratory equipment, are the best ways to avoid inhaling concrete dust during a cut.
Any time you’re cutting concrete blocks safely, you should be sure everyone has the respiratory equipment they need. Water will be flowing over the blade to reduce dust, but some dust and smoke will still be produced.
Promote lung health and safety by managing dust. Instruct your workers on the risks and perform a wet cut if possible. If you must perform a dry cut, you’ll need to provide anyone within a certain radius with a mask or respiratory device.
How Can I Tell If My Saw Is In Good Condition for Cutting Concrete Blocks?
Check the power cord and water pump, and have someone double-check the water tank. These steps will help you confirm whether your saw is in good enough condition to cut.
Any time you’re working with masonry tools, you need to ensure they’re in good condition. Handing a dull saw or a damaged tool to an employee is as good as endangering them directly. You’re ensuring they’re giving a tool they might struggle with and end up causing harm to someone with.
If you see any damages or signs of wear on the guards or handle, speak up and put a halt to the cut.
How Can I Tell If My Diamond Blade Is Good for Cutting Concrete Blocks?
Your blade should be sharp and specifically made for the job.
The diamond blade that you’re using needs to be suitable for the material that you’re cutting and should be the right size for the machine you’re using. Blades come in different materials and sizes for various purposes.
If your blade is vibrating strangely once the saw is powered up, tell everyone to stop and take s step back. You need to determine where the problem is coming from before proceeding forward.
Register every use of the blade so that you can be aware of when it needs to be replaced.
How Fast Can You Cut Concrete Blocks?
You should always be patient and take things slow. Never rush a cut when working with masonry tools. Rushing could cause the cutter to lose control of the saw and damage the work or injure someone. Patience is important as these cuts take time.
When you cut patiently, you can avoid the blade overheating by allowing it to cut through the material at its own place. The amount of friction and heat it generates will stay constant. With a patient cut, you get a smoother, more accurate, and a safer cut in the end.
What Standards for Cutting Concrete Blocks Should I Follow?
You should follow the norms and standards of your region and local construction office.
Regional and legal safety standards are constantly changing. If you’re not aware of what the latest norms and expectations are, you won’t be able to provide a good environment for your workers. You can’t expect workers to abide by safety standards they don’t know about.
Before you take on a job like a masonry cut, call down to your local construction office. See what information they have about doing a job like that and make sure they register your call. If you end up in trouble later for missing some regulation or cutting after hours, you want to be able to defend yourself from fines.
How Do I Prepare My Team To Cut Concrete Blocks?
To prepare your team for a concrete-cutting job, talk them through the possible risks and causes, and what safety issues they should watch out for.
Communication is probably the biggest difference between teams that work safely together and teams that don’t. If you sit your team down and take a moment to explain all of the risks and why they occur, you can prepare your team for what they’re about to do.
While a simple masonry cut might not seem like a big deal, it can make a huge difference to your team if you prepare them for the safety issues ahead. They want to protect one another so if you tell them how they can make the situation safe for everyone, they’ll be happy to accommodate.
Training is important when it comes to any safety issue. Don’t just submit everyone to the same general safety training. Break down issues as needed.
Safety Tips For Cutting Concrete Blocks Must Be Followed
No matter your team’s approach to masonry cuts, they need to follow basic safety tips for cutting concrete blocks. Concrete cuts are vital to accurate construction, so get your team on board with a strong safety training.
Once you’ve completed your next project, make sure you’re using the best tools for invoicing in the industry.