Familiarization of pump & booms used in concrete work is very important prior to operation of pump without any supervision. Now what is safe operation of concrete pump?
Safe operation includes:
• Inspection of pump before leaving equipment yard,• Driving safely to jobsite
• Operation of concrete pump safely after setting up in the jobsite
• Clean up of pump and driving it back safely to yard or drive to other pumping job.
Before entering jobsite, pump operator should have personal protective equipment stated below:
• Safety helmet
• Comfortable work cloth
• Safety glasses or goggles
• Heavy duty shoes
• Rubber gloves and boots (while cleaning)
• Breathing mask (when there have possibility of exposed to any types of dust).
It is important to ensure availability of all required tools related to pumping. Sometimes personal protective equipment are required like
• Hearing protection
• Steel-toe shoes
• Shirt having long sleeves
Before staring of engine, operator should check
• Engine oil
• Hydraulic oil
• Radiator water
• Yell of engine
All safety covers, grates, gauges, tires, outriggers should be inspected for proper operational safety. Appropriate clean out equipment for particular site should be ensure and pump operator should check adequate safety slings, chains or cables are available for particular system that may drop or fall.
Safety sling should be anchored to boom but not to pipeline. All clamps when required must be pinned including boom. The operator should go through operation manual of manufacture before operating any pumping equipment and if not understand any term or procedure, should contact with manufacturer. Only one selected person can guide pump operate for moving boom and should be predefined. The hand signals (14 safety signal), used in safety regulation should be learnt by all pump operators. The job site should be kept free of alcohol and drug.
Sometimes electrical wires may obstruct free movement of boom and American Concrete Pumping Association recommended to ensure a position of spotter who will be a dedicated person to guide operator to avoid accident. When voltage of electrical wires exceeds 350 kv and electrical wire is within 50 ft of concrete poring area, the spotter is essential.
When voltage is ≤350 kv the distance reduced to 20 ft. The spotter monitors boom movement and warn operator about possible accident. No amendment is valid for this rule form local, state or other requirement of national law.
It is expected to work on clean job area and should be kept clean. Never go into valve or water box; this will prevent serious injury. The water box should be kept covered while machine is in operation (ensure cover of box to remain in place). When the cover has to be removed, transmission should be cut off and accumulator bled should have zero pressure.
A professional concrete pump operator should have following qualification:
• Good driver-knowledge of pump operation
• Mechanically sound
• Good public relation skill
• Good judgment on safe operation of pump.