Concrete Pumping

Concrete pumping is an economical and efficient means of placing concrete on most jobs in the construction industry today. Every person on the job-site should understand the hazards that can occur when air is compressed in the hose. Following proper safety guidelines enables a safe, successful and profitable concrete pour.

Hose whipping accidents

Are one of the most common accidents associated with operating a concrete pump. Higher horsepower and pump pressures available in today's pumping equipment, air can momentarily be trapped, compressed, and then released in the delivery system causing hose whippings. Air can be introduced into the delivery system by various means:

  • When the pump is started initially
  • When restarting the pump after a move which allows the concrete level to fall below the valve
  • When removing a blockage or allowing concrete to free fall after the pump is shut off

To Avoid Hose Whipping Injury

  • All personnel should remain a prudent and reasonable distance from the end of the delivery line until air is exhausted from the system and concrete is free flowing.
  • If 10 feet of rubber hose is attached to a pipeline, personnel standing more than 10 feet away from the point of attachment are considered outside of the end-hose movement area.
  • Debris coming from the hose during release of trapped compressed air also can be a hazard, so personnel should always wear protection equipment such as a hard hat and eye protection.  
  • Do not allow air to be compressed.  Compressed air creates stored energy and creates a hazard.
  • When every person on the job understands what can occur when air is compressed in the hose and the proper precautions are made, a successful and profitable concrete pour results

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not forget to look for overhead lines before pumping concrete.

More information is available on the causes and effects of hose whipping accidents including a free PDF download of the ACPA's Safety Bulletin: Hose-Whipping Accidents

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

  • What causes air in the lines?
  • What causes the pressure buildup?