Like any construction project, Shotcrete projects will require a good deal of safety precautions. On the job site, things wont always go exactly as planned, so having safety precautions in place ahead of time will greatly reduce the risk of injury or possibly even death on the jobsite.
When dealing with Shotcrete, it is important to always follow the manufacture’s guidelines on all equipment in use. These are rules; these are not suggestions. The manufacturer knows and understands the potential hazards of their products, and they have written the guidelines to help to keep the person operating their products safe.
When using Shotcrete equipment, remember to keep all screens and gaurds in place. These items are not optional. Also, when spraying Shotcrete, there will be dust and overspray, so work in a well ventilated area, this will help not only with the safety of the person spraying the Shotcrete, but also help them to better see the area they are working on.
When using Shotcrete machines, the concrete inside the machine is being either held up or pushed out under a tremendous amount of pressure. Because of the immense pressure needed to operate a Shotcrete machine, you should always check the lines, because if a plug occurs, the pressure built up could break the line, possibly leading to an injury to the person spraying or other crew in the vicinity on the jobsite.
Another safety consideration, especially here in Montana where the weather is unpredictable, is the temperatures at which you are spraying the Shotcrete. If the outside temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the area being sprayed should be heated and also possibly tented. Tenting the work area can also help keep out the snow, wind, and rain. The work area can be heated with vented heaters to raise the air temperature, but also remember that portable heaters, when used in enclosed spaces, can also bring about possible safety hazards.
Also, when areas of the skin are exposed to Shotcrete, the exposed area should be cleaned with soap and water immediately. While most exposures to wet concrete lead to only irritated skin, prolonged or immense exposure may cause a chemical burn.
Always remember to be safe when operating a Shotcrete machine. Ensure that everyone on the jobsite is aware of the possible dangers and ensure that everyone using a Shotcrete machine is more then adequately trained to do so.