Concrete Placement

Concrete is used on most construction sites. There are hazards resulting from the act of forming, placing and finishing concrete.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • PPE must include heavy-duty waterproof gloves and slip-resistant boots. 
  • Gloves and boots need to be high or long enough to protect legs and arms.
  • While kneeling, knees must be protected. 
  • Safety glasses should be used to prevent concrete from splashing into the eyes.

Concrete Placement

  • Exercise caution while stepping on forms and tied rebar that may not support your weight. 
  • If using a concrete bucket, watch for pinch points. 
  • Maintain good communication with the concrete pump operator.
  • It is very common for the rebar caps to come off while placing the concrete.  If a cap fall of put it back.  Consider using saddles with 2 by 4’s instead of caps.
  • Concrete hides tripping hazards. Watch for trip hazards. 
  • When placing vertical concrete, use proper fall protection.

Finishing Concrete

  • Before using a bull float, check for overhead electrical hazards.  Some handles are over 20 feet long. 
  • Power trowels should have positive or dead man’s switches only. 
  • If chemical are used while finishing concrete, make sure you understand the hazards by reading the SDS.
  • If dried concrete is handled and dust is created, there might be a silica hazard.  This can happen during cutting without water, cleaning out lines using air hose, or by dry sweeping.  A respirator may be needed.
  • When pulling vertical forms, keep workers out of fall area.  Use warning signs. 

Remember: Concrete placement and finishing is hard work.  Be sure that you have hydrated yourself before you begin and during breaks.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • Have you ever had a burn from concrete?
  • What other hazards are present during concrete operations?