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Health and Safety with Cement Mixers

Cement mixers are a common piece of equipment on a construction site. These rotating drums are used to mix various aggregates and liquids together more easily and quickly than could be achieved by doing the process manually. As to be expected though, there are still many hazards and dangers to health and safety which need to be taken into consideration.

Whilst the process is designed to reduce the effort involved in mixing cement, there will still be a risk of manual handling injuries as the process of using the cement mixer still involves a lot of physical exertion as the mixer is loaded and unloaded. There will be a lot of stooping over, shovelling, twisting, lifting and other such actions involved, and it will be all too easy to suffer an injury such as a strain, sprain, pulled muscle or trapped nerve.

The rotating drum and associated mechanical mechanisms mean that there is a danger of entanglement with the moving parts from loose clothing, jewellery or long hair getting caught up in it and causing a serious injury.

The material used in the mixing process such as sand can give off a great deal of dust into the air which is a COSHH hazard. For this reason, construction site workers will benefit greatly from health and safety courses which include an element on COSHH (the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) so they are aware of the dangers that come with working where hazards such as dust are present.

Cement and wet concrete, along with the water used in the mixing process, poses a significant threat to safety if the mixer is powered by electricity. Whilst the electrical components and wires should be protected by casing and cabling, if these are damaged it may allow water to mix with the electricity which can produce a potentially lethal electric shock. Not only can this cause an electric shock for those near the mixer, but the spark produced could cause a fire or explosion if it were to hit flammable material or its containers such as petrol or gas canisters. Some cement mixers are powered by petrol or diesel rather than electricity. Again, there is a risk of fire if the fuel were to ignite through occurrences such as overheating/malfunctioning equipment, excessive friction or workers smoking nearby.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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