A Chip Off the Old Block
Petite, pretty and just 22 years old, Justina Porciello is not the kind of person you might expect to find breaking up concrete slabs for a living. Yet within the space of just a few months she has become an expert operator of hydrodemolition robots, helping to remove corroded concrete on Toronto’s underground car parks.
Maybe it is in her genes. Justina was introduced to the job by her father, David Porciello, who is hydrodemolition manager with Toronto’s Can Mar Contracting Ltd., and a highly respected authority on this specialized form of demolition work.
According to Justina she never had any misgivings. “It took about three months’ training before I felt totally competent and now I just love the job,” she says. She joined Can Mar in the spring, and in addition to operating the unit she also is responsible for its daily maintenance and is able to handle simple breakdowns.
Hydrodemolition is rapidly gaining popularity as a method of removing deteriorated concrete, a high-pressure water jet being used instead of a conventional jackhammer.
Because of the precision the water jet allows, deteriorated concrete can be cut away without damaging the sound concrete rebar.
It is cleaner and faster than jackhammer techniques and also eliminates the risk of operators suffering from “white finger”, an industrial injury triggered by the continual use of hand-held vibrating equipment.
Can Mar’s new hydrodemolition division has successfully treated more than 37 161 m2 of underground parking garage slabs and ramps in Toronto in the last 24 months alone.
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