We are all aware and well versed in the fact that power tools can be dangerous to operate. Even operating your electric automated egg-whisker needs to be used with a level of caution. You can’t just go jamming your finger in its working parts, unless you’re a pain-seeking thrill-monkey.
You need to be especially careful when you saw cut concrete, because instead of having your finger jammed in your morning eggs, you could lose a limb, or worse. You need to be taking all of the appropriate safety precautions you can to maximise your safety.
Alleviate your stress for your upcoming project when you cut concrete slab, and keep reading below. In this article, we will walk through 9 safety precautions you can use to comfortably finish your project.
What Are The Dangers Of Not Following The Safety Precautions?
Did you know that diamond laced metal designed for cutting cement is stronger than flesh and bone? Hard to believe, I know. But it most definitely is, and we ask you kindly not to try and test the hypothesis. Because of this fact, there are a number of dangers you are putting yourself under if you do not take the appropriate safety precautions. They include:
- Potentially ruining your project and costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars
- High-velocity shrapnel that can be flung into your eyes and sensitive areas
- Carbon monoxide poisoning that will ruin your day
- Airborne concrete dust (silica dust) is extremely toxic to breathe in, and even causes cancer
- Overheating the blade can break the machine, even snapping it
- Recoil from the machine if used with too much force can sever limbs or do worse
Outside of wearing personal safety gear, if you want to make sure you avoid any of these potential hazards, the best thing to do is to understand the process of concrete cutting, as well as some of the most common mistakes. The other sure-fire way is to hire a professional concrete cutter for your project.
The 9 Safety Precautions You Should Take On Every Concrete Project
Concrete cutting is a dangerous game, but only if you don’t take the appropriate safety precautions. If you do everything you can to minimise your risk, it can actually be rather safe. Here are our 9 tips to minimise your risk and maximise your safety:
Tip 1: Use Concrete Tools For Concrete Jobs
It might be an obvious statement, but when you have a small cut to make, you might be tempted to use whatever is there and available. Don’t be. Make sure you are always taking the extra time to have the best tools for the job. Using the wrong tools you could:
- Ruin your project
- Break the tool
- Injure yourself
Tip 2: If You Fail To Plan and Prepare, You Plan To Fail
Preparation is king with anything you make by hand. Whether it’s construction, cooking, or even art. The better the preparation, the more likely you are to succeed. However, construction and concrete cutting has the included feature of becoming a health and safety risk if you don’t adequately prepare. Before starting your project, make sure:
- Your machine is working perfectly fine
- Your area is clean
- Your project is measured and marked
- There is adequate ventilation in the project are/wet saw concrete cutting has a water source
Tip 3: Know What You’re Cutting
We don’t just mean you should know what your project is, or how to cut concrete. What we mean is you should know if there are any embedded obstacles or dangers you might cut in the concrete structure.
Before starting any job, look for potential hazards, such as rebar or electrical conduit. You never know what could be lying below. Try to find blueprints, or ask a professional for ground penetrating radar services. Depending on what is beneath the concrete, you may require different tools, or even require a specialist to cut it for you.
Tip 4: Use Appropriate Personal Protection Equipment
What PPE is necessary when sawing concrete? Pretty normal construction wear is appropriate, which includes:
- Safety glasses
- Hard hats
- Steel-capped boots
- Face shields
Tip 5: Be Cautious of Water
Yes, wet sawing requires water, and yes, some dry sawing can still use water. However, if you have a concrete cutting saw that is electric powered, approach with caution.
If you are cutting concrete with an angle grinder that is powered by electricity, and you get water in the working parts of the tool, you can break the machine and hurt yourself. If you are using trace amounts of water, make sure the water only touches the blade part of the saw, and nothing else.
Tip 6: Stay Focused On The Task At Hand, Not The Footy On The Weekend
Operating heavy machinery, whether it be a car or tools for cutting concrete, distractions can be fatal. When you are cutting, drilling, or working with concrete in any form, make sure you remove distractions and have a clear mind. If you do not, you risk ruining your project, delaying your project, or hurting yourself.
Tip 7: Be As Dust Free As The Royal Palace
Soldier, dust is your enemy and cutting concrete is the war. When you are working on concrete, keeping airborne dust to a minimum is non negotiable. Silica dust can give you various lung diseases, including cancer.
When cutting, make sure there is ventilation in the room you are working in, you are wearing face masks, and face shields.
Tip 8: Is Your Machine Running?
Another unbelievable statement, but you need your machines to be working and in good condition for them to be useful in your project. It’s simple.
Not only will a broken machine be difficult to impossible to use, it significantly increases the risk of injury. If you have a circular saw that is loose and hardly attached. The saw’s blade could become a high-speed mad max like death frisbee. Please, don’t risk it.
Tip 9: Read Your Instructions
You have a set of instructions/a user manual that comes with your tools for a reason, and you should read them. If you use your tools for an unintended purpose, you are likely to break them. The user manual will give you further safety tips that we haven’t touched on here, that will specifically relate to your tool.
When Do You Need A Professional To Cut Concrete For You?
Whenever you’re doing renovations in Australia that exceed $20,000 in value, that is classified as building work, and you will need a registered builder to do it. Additionally, you will need a qualified professional to do your concrete cutting if the work will affect plumbing or electrical work.
The other reason you would need a professional to do your concrete cutting is if you aren’t feeling confident enough to do it yourself, or you simply don’t want to. Concrete cutting can be easily stuffed-up, which can put your wallet, and your life in danger. To get your project started without any concern, organise a professional now.
Hiring A Professional
When it comes to concrete work, you will almost definitely want to hire a professional if you are not sure-handed to maximise the health of your concrete. You want to make sure there will not be any problems with your project.
Diamond Cut Concrete provides some of the best solutions for concrete in Perth. This is because Diamond Cut Concrete offers a 24 hour customer service line and can provide you with a quote within a day. We have completed close to 1,000 successful projects and have a 100% clean safety record. For any concrete project solutions, contact us today!