Precast concrete products comprise of Architectural Cast Stone Dressings, and Structural and Bespoke Precast items.
They are produced from the normal constituents of concrete, and when presented in their normal form and manner are unlikely to give rise to any significant risk to health.
The normal constituents are:
Natural and Artificial Aggregates •Cementing Agents
Additional Binders • Non-Toxic Iron Oxide Pigments * Steel Reinforcement • Steel Fixings
Precast concrete products are manufactured by the compaction and/or vibration of a hydrated mix of constituent materials which subsequently undergo a curing process. Precast concrete of this nature can be considered to be inert and therefore presents no major chemical hazard
Handling of precast concrete products may cause abrasive damage to the hands. Excessive handling may cause dermatitis or drying of unprotected skin.
Manual handling of precast concrete should only take place where the weight of the unit(s) permits, otherwise injury may occur.
Cutting, drilling, grinding or similar treatment of the products will give rise to respirable dust. Such dust, if inhaled in excessive quantities over extended periods, can constitute a long-term health hazard. Cutting, unless adequately controlled, can project particles at high velocity, with consequent risk of impact damage. Wet cutting is recommended. Steel reinforcement, which may be integrated into some precast units, may constitute a fire hazard from the resultant sparks if the units are to be cut.
Periodic cleaning may be carried out by washing with water and mild detergents using soft brushes. For more assertive cleaning refer to specialist concrete cleaning agencies.
Aggressive cleaning with high-pressure washers and/or diluted acids will leave units with a coarser texture which will change the apparent colour.
During cutting or similar surface treatment, inhalation of dust should be avoided and eyes protected. When working with heavy, dense, cementitious building products, personal protective clothing such as gloves and protective footwear should be worn. Care should be taken when handling heavy components, and mechanical lifting equipment should be used in accordance with the Manual Handling Regulations.
Care is required when cutting and disposing of any steel bands to avoid injury. Gloves and goggles should be worn.
The carriage of precast concrete products is not subject to hazardous substance conveyance regulations and vehicle labelling is not required.
Particular care should be taken in the handling and stacking of units or packs of units, taking into account the weight, method of handling, condition of the ground, and stability of the packs
Hardened concrete is inert but should be disposed of in accordance with local regulations. In some cases reinforced concrete will need to be separated from unreinforced concrete prior to disposal.
Products may be delivered in packaging that comprises polythene covers, steel strapping and wooden pallets. All types of packaging require careful site disposal after use. In particular the haphazard burning of polythene covers and of wooden pallets will, in themselves, release smoke and fumes which can be inhaled in sufficient quantities to be injurious to health.

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