Hose whipping is a dangerous swinging of the end hose when an air pocket is released at the end of the concrete pump’s pipeline.
It is dangerous as it can knock people of a slab. The force of the hose can injure people. Concrete splatter can cause injury and damage to surrounding objects such as windows, roofs and vehicles.
When you think that there is an air pocket in the pipeline that might cause the hose to whip, it is always best to notify the concrete pump operator as soon as possible. The concrete pump operator will decrease the pressure in the pipeline and repair normal concrete mix flow in the concrete pump pipes.
Stay away from the end hose until the concrete pump operator confirms that the air pocket is gone and that it is safe to approach the end hose. Always keep other construction workers away from the end hose when there is a risk of hose whipping.
How hose whipping happens
When air is sucked in at the hopper or rubber hose, it can create an air pocket in the pipeline.
The return of pressure or concrete pumping causes air in the pipeline to get pressurised.
When pressurised air reaches the end of the pipeline, it bursts out and causes the hose to whip uncontrollably. It can injure or kill people in the way.
What to do when there is air in the pipeline
- Stop the pump immediately.
- Fill the hopper with concrete and pump slowly in reverse for several strokes. It will not remove all air, but will minimise it.
- Persons at the end hose must move away until the air has been removed.
- Warn people about loud noise standing on high places, so they do not fall off when startled.
- Make sure everyone has their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on.
- Pump forward slowly until all air is removed.
- People can move back/closer again when it is safe.