Full Body Name ([acronym]) part of the Mineral Products Association (MPA)


british ready-mixed
concrete association




Fresh wet concrete, mortar and screed burns

Whether you are a domestic or commercial user, layman or professional, you must take adequate safety precautions when dealing with ready-mixed concrete. As, indeed you should with all construction materials.

In addition construction plant, equipment, trucks and pumps are large and very mobile. Concrete is heavy and is often placed from above either by direct discharge, skip or pump.

Where skin is in contact with fresh concrete, skin irritations are likely to occur owing to the alkaline nature of cement. The abrasive effects of sand and aggregate in the concrete can aggravate the condition. Potential effects range from dry skin, irritant contact dermatitis, to – in cases of prolonged exposure – severe burns. Take precautions to avoid dry cement entering the eyes, mouth and nose when mixing mortar or concrete by wearing suitable protective clothing. Take care to prevent fresh concrete from entering boots and use working methods that do not require kneeling in fresh concrete.

Unlike heat burns, cement burns might not be felt until some time after contact with fresh concrete, so there might be no warning of the damage occurring. If cement or concrete enters the eye, immediately wash it out thoroughly with clean water and seek medical treatment without delay. Wash wet concrete off the skin immediately. Barrier creams may be used to supplement protective clothing but are not an alternative means of protection.

Whatever your experience with concrete, take extreme care and make yourself aware of all safety instructions given by suppliers and contractors. The annotated picture to the right gives guidance on the personal protective clothing and accessories if you are placing the concrete yourself.

Protect your skin at all times!

It is important to all users of concrete and all those involved with construction, building and refurbishment work, either at home or on a construction site to take the necessary safety precautions when dealing with ready-mixed concrete and all other construction materials. Remember construction plant and equipment like trucks and pumps are large and very mobile. Concrete is heavy and is often placed from above either by direct discharge, skip or pump.

Health and safety in constructionHealth and safety in construction

Your ready-mixed concrete supplier will be able to supply relevant information as well as the Health and Safety Executive. The third edition of the HSE document ‘Health and Safety in Construction’ explains the essential tasks for achieving healthy and safe construction sites, where skin protection is covered by clauses 419 to 424.

Order copy from here — hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg150.htm


Useful links

Health and Safety Executive information sheet on cement and anything containing cement, such as mortar, plaster and concrete — www.hse.gov.uk/non-metallic-minerals/cement.htm
Safequarry website — www.safequarry.com
MPA's Cycle Safe — www.mineralproducts.org/feature_cycle_safe
MPA's Stay Safe — www.mineralproducts.org/youth_playsafe01


Protect your
skin at all times!

Safety precautions
You are in: > Safety

Related pages

Useful links

Print PagePrintable page

Top of page I Disclaimer I Download guide I Sitemap
Enter the dedicated MPA members websiteBRMCA, 1st Floor, 297 Euston Road, London, NW1 3AD
Tel: 0203 978 3400 Email: brmca@mineralproducts.org