Concrete is a versatile building material, but it can be very dangerous when you’re cutting. If you don’t take the proper safety precautions and follow some basic guidelines for when concrete sawing, you could seriously injure yourself or someone else.
In order to avoid these hazards, it’s important to stay informed of what they actually are. If you would like to learn more about the hazards and risks that are involved in concrete cutting, feel free to continue reading our article below.
1). Obstructions Or Resistance In The Material
There are many obstacles that arise when cutting concrete. These include but aren’t limited to large stones, cracks in the surface of your material, and other construction debris. Some things to watch out for when cutting concrete are obstructions or resistance in the material. These hazards can cause blade dullness, unpredictable cuts due to inconsistent flow patterns, and more serious injuries like fractures caused by blows from flying chips.
2). Damaged Saw Blades Or The Wrong Type Of Blade
Cutting concrete with dull blades is a dangerous practice. Sawing with dented or below par tools can cause chips to fly off at unpredictable angles. In worst cases, the blade may nick or crumble. This puts both you and those around you in danger due to flying debris. Make sure that you are using fresh, sharpened diamond blades when cutting concrete, and that the blade guard is down while cutting.
3). Electric Wires, Gas Or Water Pipes
Cutting electric wires, gas or water pipes is extremely dangerous in concrete cutting. If the blade comes into contact with live electrical currents, it can electrocute the operator, as well as lead to other dangerous situations such as fire from shorting out nearby wiring. It can also result in sparks which could start fires. Cutting water pipes could also lead to extreme structural damages and expensive repairs down the line. Make sure to always be aware if there are any underground electric wires, gas, or water pipes before you start your concrete cutting project.
4). Confined Spaces
It is essential to work in a well-ventilated area when cutting concrete. Cutting concrete creates a lot of dust, which can be very dangerous for your health. Concrete dust contains small silica particles which, when inhaled, can damage your lungs. The addition of fumes from gasoline or diesel concrete cutters mixed with concrete dust can be very toxic for people. Having enough air circulating is critical for a safe working concrete cutting environment.
5). Insufficient Flow Of Coolant Water
A cutting blade is a delicate instrument. The very first rule of thumb when using one to make clean cuts in concrete or other hard surfaces: always have water around! Concrete cutting should always include the use of coolant water to minimise heat exposure. The blade will quickly dull if you don’t continuously cool down your blade with a flow of water every 20-30 minutes, especially during extended operations. Always ensure you have enough water on hand for these reasons.
6). Working Alone
It is always better to work in pairs when operating heavy machinery because of the risk of injury or harm. Working alone can be hazardous because of the potential need to provide assistance in case an unsafe incident or emergency situation arises. Additionally, working alone can be difficult, especially if you need help with setting up and relocating equipment on site.
Safety Gear For Concrete Cutting
It’s always important to have the right safety gear for concrete cutting. Cutting through hard materials can cause serious injuries, which is why it is imperative that you wear goggles or protective eyewear at all times while working on your project. Wearing a mask will help prevent concrete dust from entering your lungs, so don’t forget to wear one!
Moreover, be sure to use ear protection as well since concrete cutting can get very noisy. Make sure to also wear clothes that cover your skin and avoid wearing loose clothing that could get caught on the blade.
Cutting concrete can be a hazardous process that should never be taken lightly. With the right tools and knowledge of how to use them properly, you will have a much easier time completing this task without any accidents or injuries.