You can save a significant sum of money if you decide to lay a new path or driveway yourself using a concrete mixer for rent. Nonetheless, DIY renovators still need to hire heavy equipment for certain jobs, and a portable cement mixer can save a lot of time and effort when it comes to a job like this. Even though a portable cement mixer may seem small compared to other machinery, this equipment can still cause serious injury. Make sure you lay your new drive or pathway safely, and avoid the five following mistakes other DIY fanatics make.
Standing the mixer on an uneven surface
If you're laying a new driveway or path at home, you may not have that much room to work with, especially when you take up any old concrete surface. However, it's important to make sure the portable mixer stands on a solid, even surface, or the equipment could topple and fall on somebody working on the new concrete surface.
Ideally, you should stand the mixer on a slab of concrete or a large mixing board. A lawn or flower bed is unsuitable. You should also avoid working in wet conditions. Even if the ground is relatively stable when you start, the water will make working conditions treacherous, and the concrete mixer could still easily fall over.
Ignoring trip hazards
Trip hazards are dangerous anywhere, but unwanted objects around a portable cement mixer could become lethal. A single trip hazard around one of these devices could cause somebody to fall or slip into the mixer, leading to a serious injury. While it's probably difficult for an adult to fall right into the mixer, even a few fingers or a hand could come to a nasty end if accidentally placed in the mixer while it is working.
Keep the other tools and equipment you're using away from the mixer. For example, you may need a hose pipe to clean sand or cement off paving slabs and other surfaces as you work. Keep the pipes away from the mixer to avoid any unpleasant accidents.
Failing to disconnect the mixer before cleaning
Even if you switch the machine off, you should never clean or adjust a portable cement mixer with the power connected. If the cement mixer accidentally starts again, anybody working on the machinery could face a serious injury.
In 2013, a worker in Milwaukee suffered serious injuries while cleaning a portable cement mixer. While carrying out his duties, the man trapped his arm in the mixer's mechanism. It's important to clean rental equipment before you return it to the supplier, but don't put your safety at risk when you do it.
Failing to wear protective clothing
Many people underestimate the possible injuries that can occur if wet cement gets on your skin. Wet cement is highly caustic, and some mixed concrete has a pH value of as high as 12.9. People who rarely work with the material are often unaware that wet cement can cause third-degree burns after prolonged contact.
Wear gloves and protective clothing while working with wet cement. You should also use safety goggles, as wet cement can easily splash into your eyes, especially when you pour out the material to lay your new driveway.
Overloading the mixer
Always follow the instructions that come with the mixer, including details about the machine's maximum load. If you overload the mixer, you may break or stall the mechanism, which could cause damage. Inevitably, this can lead some unsuspecting users to place their hands or other tools in the mixer to move an apparent blockage, only to suffer an injury when the mechanism starts up again.
It's always a good idea to use the same bucket to load the different materials you need into the mixer. This will help you get the right ratio of ingredients. If you're not sure about the quantities you should use, contact the hire company for more advice.
If you want to lay a new driveway or path, a portable cement mixer should make the job easier for you. Nonetheless, these machines can cause serious injuries, so make sure you follow all necessary safety precautions.