Cement and the products based on it are the most commonly used materials in construction. The Mineral Products Association (MPA) states that concrete is the “second most consumed substance in the world after water”. Cement can be used to make mortars, renders and grouts and is the “adhesive” that binds everything together in a wide range of concretes that, in turn, can be cast into an extensive range of products.

Virtually all buildings will involve some degree of concrete work, irrespective of the basic constructional form.

Due to its properties, cement can be employed in lots of ways, ie:

  • delivered dry and mixed on site

  • delivered wet, already mixed as concretes or mortars (foundations, columns, dams, etc)

  • prepared off site and delivered as formed products.

Working with cement and products based on it is frequently hazardous. An assessment, relating the hazardous properties to the likelihood of harm to the user and others who might be affected, must be made. If the consequences to health are significant then the assessment must be recorded. The form, concentration, quantity, likely route of entry into the body, together with the way the substance is to be used, should be taken into account. Special consideration must also be given to the issues surrounding work with asbestos-containing materials, such as asbestos cement.

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