How to Operate a Concrete Pump Safely
Posted On: 02/05/2021 | Posted by: DY Concrete Pumps
A concrete pump can be a huge help for contractors who need to pour concrete smoothly and efficiently.
As with any piece of heavy machinery or construction equipment, though, there are always risks and safety precautions to keep in mind when operating your concrete pump to ensure the safety of yourself and your crew.
The first step to safely using a concrete pump is to be aware of the risks involved and know how to mitigate them to prevent injury to your team or damage to your machine.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Work Site Placement Issues
The first step on your concrete pump safety checklist should be to plan ahead and ensure the pump can be safely placed where it needs to be to get the job done. You want your machine to be somewhere convenient for pumping and accessible for the mixing trucks, but you also want to make sure your pump is somewhere safe.
If you don’t plan ahead, concrete pumps with booms are at risk of coming into contact with power lines on your work site, which could result in dangerous electric shock.
American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA) electrical safety guidelines state that booms must maintain 20 feet of clearance from any power line carrying up to 350,000 volts. For power lines carrying more than 350,000 volts, booms need 50 feet of clearance.
You’ll also want to ensure you have a solid, flat surface for your concrete pump to sit on. Concrete pumps with booms are at an elevated risk of tipping if they are not on stable ground.
Inspect Your Equipment to Prevent Malfunctions
Concrete pumps that have not been properly maintained or inspected could malfunction during use and injure crew members. Additionally, safety straps that are weak and worn may also break or malfunction.
The easiest way to prevent these pumping hazards is to perform inspections and preventive maintenance to your concrete pump and safety gear. If you are renting a machine, make sure the rental service has provided the proper inspection information.
Understand the Dangers of Wet Concrete
Wet concrete is abrasive and contains harmful chemicals that can cause caustic burns, abrasions, dermatitis and other irritations when they contact the eyes or skin.
You and your crew should take every precaution to ensure the wet concrete does not touch you directly. Wear long sleeves, long pants and all proper protective equipment when working with wet concrete and avoid any direct contact with the wet materials.
Know Standard Operating Procedures
When you know how to operate your concrete pump properly, you can run it safely and avoid costly mistakes on the job.
Things like proper handling of the hose, using the correct hose fixtures and wearing proper ear protection can prevent injuries to your crewmembers.
Stay up to Date With Safety Training
Before you begin a project with a concrete pump, make sure you are caught up on the most recent safety regulations for operating the machine. Ensure your team has any necessary training and certifications for operating concrete pumps and a full understanding of concrete pump hazards and safety.
Proper training and planning are the best ways to prevent accidental injuries on your work site.
Basic Do’s and Don’ts of Concrete Pump Safety
You and your crew should understand the do’s and don’ts of working with a concrete pump to prevent damages, injuries and potential death. In addition to checking in with the ACPA safety regulations and guidelines, you can refer to the following concrete pump safety checklist:
- Request a certified operator for a rented concrete pump.
- Stay up to date on safety regulations.
- Know the standard hand signals for effective communication.
- Ensure your machine is placed in a safe location away from power lines and loose dirt.
- Handle all equipment according to safe operating procedures.
- Wear safety equipment such as goggles, ear protection and long sleeves.
- Handle the equipment without proper training.
- Use the boom as a crane.
- Operate a concrete pump in the dark.
- Stand in front of the hose end.
- Use a concrete pump that has not been properly inspected or maintained.
- Climb the machine or boom to clear clogged lines.
Reach out to DY Concrete Pumps for Pump Safety Tips
Before you begin working with a concrete pump, be sure that you and your crew understand the hazards and safety guidelines associated with the machine. When operated properly, concrete pumps can be an excellent addition to your work site.
For any inquiries or further questions about concrete pump safety, please contact us online or call 1-844-397-8677.