Posted on: 20 July 2016Share
For many construction projects, carrying concrete from the mixers to the several areas it is needed is not always the viable option. The only alternative is found in concrete pumping which has become quite popular in today's construction scene. Concrete pumping employs the use of delivery hoses that transport pumped concrete from the mixer trucks to the various floors and walls it is required for construction. Like with every other construction activity, care has to be taken when indulging in large scale concrete pumping. The following areas are often misjudged or overlooked when it comes to precaution and care during concrete pumping. They can, however, prove to be quite damaging or fatal so you better be on the lookout as an operator, contractor, or anyone working with a concrete pump.
While there are clear guidelines for concrete pump booms to avoid obstacles, sometimes, the perceived clearance may not always be sufficient. This may be due to the operator's depth perception discrepancies, or some other fault in the calculation of clearance distances. The operator should try to judge clearance when standing between the boom end and the obstacle. This way, the operator can clearly have a feel of how much clearance they really have and whether or not it should be sufficient. Power lines are one of the most dangerous obstacles when it comes to concrete pouring. Contact with power lines can not only harm the operator, but also the placing crew, truck driver, and anyone in contact with the concrete. If the clearance between the boom and the power lines is considerably narrow, there must be a spotter assigned to guide the operator every time they come near the dangerous point.
Hose whipping is a common occurrence when concrete pumping. It happens when trapped air within the hose is forcefully eliminated from within by the pump. The trapped air leaves erratically causing the hose to whip dangerously. At this point, no worker should be near the hose. Hose whipping is the reason why a placing hose should not have any metallic connections at the end; not even a connector to another placing hose. Any metal at the tip of a placing hose that starts whipping could deliver a fatal blow to anybody it comes in contact with. So inclusively the operator, contractor, or any other worker should equally stay away from a whipping hose at anytime.
Finally, you may be surprised how many operators forget to consider ground stabilization before laying out the concrete pump. The stability of the area factors in more than just level ground. You must also look at the soil bearing capacity of the area. There are tests an operator can perform to determine this such as laying cribbing first and positioning outriggers then extending the boom over each outrigger and noting whether there is considerable sinking. The operator must also ensure that all excavations in the area have been back-filled and compacted properly before erecting the boom.