A wide range of job site precautions — such as those related to pneumatic tool safety — come into play when you’re working with concrete. Whether your work involves concrete chipping, grinding or concrete drilling, you‘ll often find yourself using handheld jackhammers, concrete grinders or high-impact combination hammers. Here’s how to keep yourself safe while putting pneumatic tools to work on the job.
One of the most common pneumatic tool injuries is being hit by an attachment or projectile coming off of the tool. Be sure to wear protective gear such as safety eyewear, work gloves and steel toe boots, plus wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin. Getting hit by small bits of material is common when chipping concrete, so make sure you’re covered and protected.
Use Good Form
Ergonomics are important on any work site, but especially when working with pneumatic tools. You’ll often be working in awkward spaces with tools that produce excessive vibrations, so make sure you have ergonomic floor mats whenever possible and use anti-vibration gloves if you’re using a handheld jackhammer for concrete chipping. The number of back injuries in construction is 50% higher than the national average, so remember to take breaks and stretch at least once per hour.
Pneumatic tools have safety attachments that prevent accidental discharge, and these safety clips and attachments are required by OSHA. Make sure they’re installed and functioning correctly to help prevent accidents. Also, remember to unplug tools when they’re not in use — and don’t let hoses or cables become trip hazards on the job site.
Cut Down on Sound
You may not think pneumatic tools are very loud, but they can generate sound levels that exceed permissible exposure limits (PEL). Use earplugs or soundproof earmuffs to reduce the risk of hearing loss from long-term exposure.
Observe pneumatic tool safety to protect yourself and your team members on the job. Have questions about this or other topics? The General Chipping team is here to help you find answers. Please feel free to reach out!