Many accidents on concrete pumping jobs can be prevented by making sure that components in the pumping system are not excessively worn, by using the right accessories and by following safe operating procedures.

HOW TO CHECK FOR WEAR

Couplings will usually wear on the surface that is in contact with the pipe. All valves should also be inspected for wear and proper settings. A malfunctioning valve can not only shut down a job--it can cause serious injury if someone tries to force it to work. There are several ways to inspect for worn pipeline. The most accurate is to inspect it with a depth gage designed specifically to measure the thickness of steel pipe.

USE THE RIGHT HOSE

Hose designated as a discharge type should be used only at point of placement for discharge. A specially reinforced hose is recommended for boom truck applications. Neither of these hoses should ever be used as a replacement for an elbow or bend. The metal hose end must also be inspected for wear and to ensure that it is firmly attached to the hose.

TIE-DOWNS AND SUPPORT BRACKETS

Once you have inspected the components you are going to use, be sure you have enough tie-downs to secure the system. Improper tie-down is one of the most common causes of accidents.

CLEANING THE PUMP SYSTEM

The best and safest way to clean out a system is with water. If you do clean with air, remember that once air has been introduced into the line, pressure builds up. This pressure is capable of propelling a go-devil or clean-out ball through the open end at a very high velocity. If you use air, always have a bleed-off valve in the system to bleed off the pressure as necessary.