Concrete Supervisor Cement Burns
Whilst carrying out maintenance; a Plant Supervisor was cleaning out the concrete build up within a 3 metre pan mixer prior to fitting some new paddle arms and tips. The Supervisor was wearing a full set of waterproofs to enter the mixer.
During his work in the restricted space within the mixer he did not realise that the waterproofs had become torn allowing the cement rich water and material to soak through on to his skin. It was only after exiting the mixer that he became aware of the problem and discovered he had suffered a first degree chemical burn to his lower back.
Fortunately the Supervisor realised that he had a problem and sought medical attention promptly, had he not done so the damage to his skin could have been much more severe. A chemical burn is different to a heat burn in that the chemical will carry on reacting with the skin until all its reactivity is exhausted and can therefore carry on burning into the skin for many hours after the exposure.
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT IMAGES
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS TAKEN
• Consider the risk of chemical burns, particularly those from cementitious materials, in the site risk assessments and safe systems of work.
• Methods of work should be in place that minimise the risk of such burns.
• All relevant personnel should be trained in the risk of chemical / cementitious burns and the precautions that must be applied.
• Always wear the PPE required as set out in the Safe System of Work/Safe Operating Procedure
• Always check the PPE you are going to wear before commencing any work.
• Always check the on-site CoSHH file to ensure you have the right PPE for the job you are to do.
• In addition to the general workplace risk assessments; always complete a pre job risk assessment if the work you are about to do is not part of your normal routine tasks (to take account of any change in the local conditions that may not have been considered by the general assessments and also to ensure people stop and think about the activity they are about to commence, the potential risks and the necessary precautions).
• Stop anyone from working if they don’t have the right, well maintained tools/equipment and PPE for the job.
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS IMAGES
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