Three Safety Tips To Employ When Using A Concrete Mixer

When you have a minor project in your yard that involves the use of concrete, you can often get away with combining the concrete mix and water together in a wheelbarrow. However, if the job is larger, such as building a sizable concrete slab to serve as a back patio, it's beneficial to visit a rental center to get a concrete mixer. This piece of equipment, which you can tow behind your vehicle, keeps the mixed concrete churning, much like a cement mixer truck. Whereas you have to mix small batches when using the wheelbarrow method, you can make up a larger batch in the mixer and you won't have to worry about the concrete hardening before you're ready for it. Here are three tips to keep you safe during this project.

Wear The Right Protective Gear

Even if it's a hot and sunny day, you shouldn't work with concrete without wearing the right protective gear. In terms of clothing, it's ideal to wear long pants and a long shirt; dry concrete can often irritate the skin and working in short clothes will leave your skin coated with a fine layer of powder. Ensure that your clothing fits comfortably but isn't excessively loose, as you don't want clothing fibers getting caught in the rotating concrete mixer. It's important to also wear gloves and eye protection, given the irritating nature of the concrete mix. Hearing protection is valuable, too, as long as the mixer is running.

Beware Of Pinch Points

It's important to familiarize yourself with the operation of the concrete mixer, both by reading the instructions provided at the rental center and watching carefully how it runs. Doing so can reduce your risk of having a finger caught in one of the mixer's pinch points. Be careful, in particular, to avoid putting your fingers near the joints where the mixing drum meets the frame and be sure to keep your hands away from the underside of the mixing drum in case it rotates downward.

Protect Your Back

Working with concrete, even with the use of a mixer, can be an arduous job with plenty of heavy lifting. Whenever you're lifting a new bag of dry concrete mix to load into the mixer, be sure to use the proper technique of lifting with your legs instead of your back. It's ideal to lift bags with a partner to avoid hurting yourself. If the grass or the area that you'll be placing the concrete mixer is wet, it's beneficial to lay down pieces of wood for the mixer to sit on. This strategy will allow you to move the mixer with ease and avoid the possible back strain that could arise from trying to move it when it has sunk into the wet ground. Contact a rental company, like Horizon Equipment Rentals, for more tips.