After completing hundreds of precast concrete wall projects, AFTEC is acutely aware of the safety risks revolving around concrete construction projects. Did you know that upwards of 44 crane-related deaths occur annually? When it comes to installing precast concrete walls, safety is of the utmost importance.
In this article, AFTEC wants to share a general process that helps improve safety and decrease the risk of injury while on a concrete construction project. Whether you’re a project manager needing a precast concrete wall or a manufacturer providing your customers with precast concrete products, this article will be insightful and helpful to you.
Improve Concrete Construction Safety
The number one priority of any construction project ought to be safety. You want your crew, operators, and more to be safe while they’re working on your project. Having operators that know thoroughly how to use their equipment, as well as a crew that understands the general operation of said equipment can work wonders. Finally, a site-safety plan should be mandatory for general operation and in case of emergency.
Your Precast Concrete Lifting Operation
Before you get your project moving forward, you want to make sure all workers have the proper training and certifications to be doing the jobs they’ve been assigned. This includes operators, managers, specialists and more. As mentioned above, you want a site-safety plan in place prior to work starting. Finally, you want to gather all lift directors, lift operators, crane hands, qualified riggers, and more are all briefed on crane location, lifting zones, crane radius, and assumed communications to make sure all runs smoothly.
Project Planning and Preparation
Before any of your lifting or other heavy equipment arrives, you will want to assess the bearing strength of the soil and ground. What’s more, you will want to take the time to identify any potential sub-surface hazards that could stop your project in its tracks.
Wet ground needs to be allowed to dry before work begins. Also, you may need to compact the soil to better support your lifting equipment. In some cases, you need to bring in dense organic or inorganic materials.
Once you have your ground situated, it’s time to look up. Many crane and lift operator hazards exist above ground in the form of power lines, obstructions, or wind. After the lifting zone is marked, it’s best for the crew to determine if the crane will at any point come within regulation distance to power lines or obstructions. If not, then the project can move forward.
Lower Safety Risks During Lifting Operations
No precast concrete wall lifting operation is a simple task. It involves a lot of planning and preparation. You will need to confirm a variety of factors before launching the project, including trained professionals, safety checks, technical precautions, and so much more. It’s no wonder precast concrete products are superior to other concrete solutions. They save time and allow for maximum wok efficiency. Here are some general tips on lowering safety risk on a concrete construction project:
#1. Make sure you have the proper certified and trained team on-site
Before any work begins, as mentioned above, confirm certifications, training, and experience. One of the worst feelings is discovering that an operator or crane hand doesn’t know what they’re doing entirely, and you have to halt progress to replace them. Or, progress slows because they’re qualified, but not good enough yet to keep up with your project pace. Double checking all of this information is going to save you a ton of time later.
#2. Triple check the load is secured
Your crane operator and crane hands should be given the time to double and even triple-check a load is rigged properly. A loose load can go from an accident to fatality quickly. Also, make sure your crew has the proper load securing equipment to do their job safely and effectively. Items like a basket, choker, vertical hitching, and sling hitches should all be assessed before being used, as well as available to be used when needed.
#3. Avoid overloading the lift
Intended load, environment, and actual load are three factors that will influence how an operator decides to lift a load. Overloading a lift is a mistake you want to avoid at all costs. This means communicating the lift’s load capacity prior to operation beginning. What’s more, overloading a lift or crane can cause it to tip, equipment to fail, or operator error, which can lead to destroying materials or worse, a fatality. Take note of other factors like wind, side loads, wheels, and added rigging weight to make sure your loads never get too heavy.
Concrete Construction Safety Importance
Above all else, safety is the most important factor in any concrete construction project. The livelihood of every crew member relies on this project being completed successfully, but they also are putting themselves at risk to complete the job. This means that you, project manager, are responsible for giving them the safest working environment possible.
AFTEC: Your Worldwide Leader in Precast Concrete Walls
Do you need a precast concrete wall or wall system? AFTEC serves customers nationwide, as well as sells manufacturers concrete wall systems. With experience in the concrete construction industry, AFTEC is aware of the safety precautions that need to be taken to make sure all crew members safely and successfully complete their projects. What’s more, we take safety seriously. If you need precast concrete wall products, contact AFTEC today to start the conversation.