Cleaning pipelines and pumps
Line cleaning is undertaken with either high pressure water or air, to remove residual concrete in the pipeline. The sudden release of waste concrete under pressure can harm workers and the public.
Check in detail the responsibilities for line cleaning on site in Section 4.3.4 of the Concrete Pumping Code of Practice 2005 and follow the manufacturer¿s instructions and employer¿s procedures.
The following safety precautions should be followed:
- Water rather than air should be used for cleaning and only experienced and trained workers should carryout line cleaning.
- The pipeline must not be dismantled for cleaning or other purposes until pressure is relieved. An air relief valve as well as the air entry point to the pipeline is needed to relieve pressure from the system.
- The pipeline must be free of internal pressure before disconnecting a pipeline connection or fitting and must not be left unattended until then.
- Remove rubber hose at the end of the pipeline and secure all parts of the pipeline to prevent uncontrolled movement during purging.
- A device should be attached to the discharge end of the pipeline to catch the cleaning device while the concrete is still flowing.
- If a concrete truck bowl is used, concrete lines should be prevented from moving. It is not safe to attach concrete lines to the concrete truck¿s ladder.
- Workers should be removed from the discharge end while the concrete is under pressure and any workers involved should wear protective clothing.
Entanglement, crushing or amputation injuries can occur to workers working with a concrete hopper or pumping device. Workers should avoid placing any part of their body within the hopper. Safety precautions include:
- Providing a physical barrier at all times to protect people from the moving parts of a hopper.
- If cleaning or maintenance requires entry to the hopper, the equipment must be shut down and controls used to remove any hydraulic or air pressure to prevent movement or rotation of parts of the engine.
- Workers should receive instruction, training and supervision when concrete hoppers are cleaned and access to a support person in the immediate area.
Check in detail the responsibilities for pump cleaning on site in Section 4.3.5 of the Concrete Pumping Code of Practice 2005.