There are many occasions (if not all) when the job of cutting through concrete is above the capability of a DIY home handyman. When hiring a professional concrete cutter for your next project, be sure to check they adhere to all the necessary safety and environmental standards, use only the best cutting equipment and equip their staff with an appropriate range of equipment and safety gear. To help, we’ve compiled the following questions to ask when booking your next concrete cutting job.
What Accreditations do you have?
Concrete cutters in NSW should comply with the following accredited standards:
Issued by Standards Australia this standard is used as the benchmark to assess Occupational Health & Safety Management systems for organisations in Australia and New Zealand. Your concrete cutter should be accredited with this standard to ensure they have been accredited to carry out their work safely.
ISO 9001 Quality Management
Issued by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), this ensures the concrete cutting service provided consistently meets customers requirements and is also consistently improved.
ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System
Issued again by the ISO, this ensures the company has an environmental policy and has been accredited to conform to it.
Which codes of practice do you comply with?
SafeWork NSW (previously WorkCover) manage the workplace codes of practice of which the following should apply to any concrete cutter you hire:
- NSW Work Cover Code of Practice – Cutting Drilling Concrete & Other Masonry products
- NSW Work Cover Code of Practice – Moving Plant on Construction Sites
Similarly, NSW EPA manage environmental regulations in NSW of which your concrete cutter should adhere to. In particular, the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 relates to the appropriate classification and disposal of concrete slurry waste created during the concrete cutting process.
Do you use wet or dry concrete cutting techniques?
Concrete cutting generates silica dust which when inhaled can severely damage the lungs. Silicosis is the build up of concrete dust in the lungs which cannot escape and can lead to lung cancer. For this reason, it is important when cutting concrete (or any masonry surface for that matter) to use wet cutting techniques. Wet cutting supplies water to the cutting surface to suppress the dust and a special vacuum to contain the concrete slurry.
It is important to ask your concrete cutting if they use wet cutting techniques and also how they clean up the resulting concrete slurry. Read more about wet vs dry concrete cutting techniques.
What types of concrete cutting can you perform?
Concrete cutting comes in a few different forms. There is concrete sawing using a number of different styled saws such as hand saws, wall saws, wire saws or road saws. There is concrete drilling which can be used to create either one-off holes or as part of stitch drilling which is used to cut irregular shaped holes in concrete. Lastly, there is concrete grinding which can be used to make uneven concrete slabs level to avoid trip hazards or remove surface imperfections such as tile aggregate or glue.
Ensuring your concrete cutter has the ability and machinery on site to perform a variety of concrete cutting methods is important as the appropriate cutting solution for the job may not be entirely clear until the concrete cutter is on site.
What brand equipment and hardware do you use?
When it comes to the machinery, the latest high frequency cutting equipment should be used from reliable brands like Husqvarna. Along with machinery, saw blades, drill bits and grinding apparatus need to be of high quality. Concrete drills and saws are diamond coated allowing them to cut through super hard materials like concrete. High quality hardware will actually wear down quicker to provide a faster and cleaner finish. Read more about how diamond coated saws and drill bits work.
What Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is used by your staff?
As part of the safety accreditations, all concrete cutters on site should be equiped with the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). This should include as a minimum:
- Ear Muffs – Class 5 hearing protection
- Steel Cap Laced Safety Boots – AS2210
- Long Cotton Pants & Long Cotton Shirt with reflective tape – AS4602
- Eyewear Minimum Impact – AS1337
- Safety Helmet – AS1800/1810
Ready to hire a professional concrete cutter?
These may seem a lot of questions to ask about when requesting a quote, however most concrete cutters should be able to reply quickly to these well known standards in the industry. Concrete cutting is a specialist skill and to get a quality job done reliably and safely can only come when meeting certain criteria outlined above.
Mastercut Concrete have been cutting concrete in Sydney for over 20 years and have a fleet of skilled and mobile concrete cutters to cut, drill or grind concrete for you when you need it. We comply with all applicable standards and comply with all applicable codes of practice. We also ensure our staff are equipped with a range of top quality machinery and hardware. We only use wet cutting techniques and our staff are protected with the full requirement of safety gear. Contact 02 9755 5505 for a free consultation and quote or complete an online quote request.