Concrete and Masonry Construction

Concrete and Masonry Construction

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is concrete?

Concrete is a construction material consisting of conglomerate gravel, pebbles, broken stone or slag in a mortar or cement matrix.

What is masonry?

Masonry is building and fabricating in stone, clay, brick, or concrete block. Masonry also refers to the building units (stone, brick, etc.) themselves.

What are the hazards associated with concrete and masonry construction?

Physical hazards associated with concrete and masonry construction fall into one of the following categories: fall from an elevation; electrical; caught between; and struck by. Workers involved in the placement and securing of precast concrete members from elevated surfaces or working from the top edge of concrete structures or masonry walls are exposed to fall hazards.  The use of electrically powered tools and other equipment that have not been properly maintained and inspected or that are not connected to ground fault protection while cutting forms or shaping concrete and masonry exposes workers to the risk of electrocution. Precast concrete and lift slabs that are not properly handled while in movement or are inadequately braced and secured in place can strike or fall onto workers resulting in serious injuries and death.

Health hazards associated with concrete and masonry construction arise from inhalation of respirable particles of silica generated by masonry saws and other tools when cutting and shaping concrete members and masonry, from direct contact of skin with uncured concrete, and as a result of noise generated when cutting and shaping concrete and masonry with power tools.

 

Solutions

Solutions

What can I do to protect myself and others?

Engineering and Administrative Controls

Do not work at elevations above four feet without fall protection. Be sure that any electrically-powered tools are plugged into an outlet or extension cord that is equipped with GFCI protection. Do not use tools and electrical cords where the cord insulation ix not intact or where the ground pin has been removed from the plug. Workers should never work or take breaks within the fall radius of newly set precast concrete until permanently secured in place. No employee can work under concrete buckers while being raised or lowered into position. Tools with integrated water delivery systems should be used whenever cutting or shaping concrete, masonry and other silica-containing products.

Personal Protective Equipment

When engineering controls are not adequate to maintain airborne exposures below permissible exposure limits (PELs) or, in the absence of applicable PELs, recommended exposure limits, appropriate respiratory protection must be used in conjunction with an effective respiratory protection program. Hearing protection should be worn when using high speed tools to cut or shape masonry and concrete. In addition, workers who must use personal fall arrest systems must be trained in its use and how to inspect it for wear.

What resources are available to assist employers?

More information related to concrete and masonry construction can be found on the A-Z topics pages for silica, fall protection, hazard communication, noise, personal protective equipment (PPE), and respiratory protection. The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Further, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). The education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. Lastly, the consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.

 

 

Regulations

Regulations

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to concrete and masonry construction in North Carolina:

 

 

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.