4 Tips for Concrete Dowel Drilling Safety

Employers pay nearly $1 billion per week in direct workers’ compensation costs, according to some estimates, reports OSHA. Indirect costs add up further.

That’s, of course, across all lines of work. Road construction, public works and related outdoor jobs that require large tools and machines and operate near traffic pose greater risks for workers.

When it comes to concrete drilling and doweling, whether for taxiway construction or highway repairs, just a handful of reminders will keep workers safe and on the job.

  1. Don’t Pinch Yourself – While moving parts make a drill effective, those parts also can pinch operators who aren’t careful. Stay clear of the carriage assembly to avoid being caught between the carriage and frame. Use the carriage lock whenever moving the drill to prevent the assembly from sliding onto fingers and hands.
  1. Dust Off – Prevent creating your own little dust storm that obscures drivers’ visibility and chokes out your coworkers by using an optional dust suppression kit or dust collection system. The dust suppression kit costs less but requires a water source, which can be tough to come by. The pneumatic dust collection system, or vacuum system, easily attaches to almost any drill unit and uses the same compressor as the drill to pull dust into a collection bag.
  1. Dress for Success – Even with a dust suppression kit, it’s still a good idea to wear a face mask to avoid inhaling particulates. Add to that ensemble with a set of earplugs to lessen risk from compressor and drill noise and safety glasses to keep debris out of the eyes. It’s always a good idea to add a hardhat and steel-toed boots to the mix to protect both ends of the body.
  1. Straighten Up and Lift Right – Use the drill’s lifting handles and proper lift techniques to avoid muscle strain and joint injuries. If going a greater distance, use a weight-rated chain or strap attached to the drill’s lifting bale, and lock the carriage.

With these four fast and easy tips, you can transform unsafe to safe and potentially prevent injuries, damage and downtime.

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