The daffodils might not be the only things coming up from the ground as signs of spring begin to appear. In colder-weather climates, new cracks and other concrete surface damage are also showing their faces.
But at what point is this damage more than an aesthetics issue? When is it cause for concern for employee or customer safety? And how should it be addressed?
Many businesses are temporarily shut down or working with skeleton crews right now as our country fights a dangerous pandemic. Looking for maintenance projects to spend money on is far down the priority list right now, but if you’re harboring a potential safety issue now might be an ideal time to address it while foot traffic is low.
Generally speaking, three specific types of concrete damage can not only put individuals at risk safety-wise, but they could lead to OSHA violations if left unaddressed:
- Trip hazards – Cracks of greater than a quarter-inch in width or vertical differential are defined as trip hazards by OSHA and should be repaired immediately.
- Movement – When a crack reaches that quarter-inch mark or wider and you see relative movement between the sides – whether it’s up and down, left and right or in and out – that’s another safety issue in need of addressing.
- Crumbling – Finally, when you have crumbling damage, especially on concrete steps or on the edges of raised sections of concrete where foot or vehicle traffic would flow, there’s certainly a risk for falls.