In this article, we are going to share with you five tips to ensure safety while doing asphalt paving that anyone can practice. We suggest to print out copies and give out to your paving crew. Encourage them to read it prior to working and pay attention to some precautions in order to avoid asphalt paving accidents. Moreover, these tips might show aspects that need to be improved and also guarantee high machinery performance by using high premium asphalt materials in your projects.
First of all, it is important to make sure that every employee who has direct contact with liquid asphalt must be properly trained about its hazards. Furthermore, they must be trained on handling procedures that need to be followed, thus guaranteeing safety at work.
This training must indicate exactly which are the components of every asphalt mix used in case one of the workers could have an issue by being in direct contact with one of those elements in particular. Therefore, the following information must include data such as boiling point and flash temperature, personal protective equipment (PPE), emergency procedures and fire precautions. For a complete guide regarding asphalt paving safety and maintenance tips, make sure to read DRYCO's article.
Take Care When Getting On and Off Equipment.
It is common to see machine operators get injured due to the lack of attention and failure to follow the instructions at the time to get on/off paving machinery.
Hence, we highlighted some basic rules that must considered in order to reduce the risk of injury:
- Pay attention to where you are stepping and where you are going to step while you get on or off.
- The operator must use in every moment the handhold/foothold which are estable in their position instead of other alternatives as chains that are inestable and may increase the risk of an accident.
- To ensure the stability of the operator, the better recommendation is to maintain a 3 point contact in every moment.
- You must not try to get on/off from moving equipment or jump off it.
- Never mount/dismount the equipment with any kind of tools in your hands, instead of that, use a rope to raise or lower supplies.
Don't Let People Crowd the Work Area.
Ask any roller operator what their biggest headache is and they will tell you without hesitation – people on the ground crowding the machine. People gathering around heavy machinery is extremely dangerous and the chances of an accident are higher. Machinery could be extremely hot, may contain hot materials or even worse, there is a chance of running over a worker.
Be aware of overhead obstructions and underground utilities, including electrical lines, water, sewer, gas, telecom, etc. There must be visible markings around areas that might mean danger.
The equipment used in the paving process does not necessarily have to be new, however, it is essential that the established standard precautions are met to ensure the well-being of the employees who operate it. That is why frequent preventative maintenance is highly encouraged.
Furthermore, we suggest using a spotter for guidance. Make sure the machine clears the ramps before turning. Keep people away from the sides of the machine during loading/unloading material.
Properly Secure Paving Area.
We do not want your crew to be on the headline section due to an asphalt paving accident, so please take time to review safety protocols with your crew daily, we cannot stress this enough.
Something important to keep in mind in this type of paving process is that the asphalt mix manipulation is dangerous, because it is made by some oil derivatives and it has to be heated between 150 & 200 F. This represents a risk of burn for the paving crew and even for people walking around the project.
With these procedures, long-term exposure to asphalt fumes could give employees some lung and breathing issues that could later on turn into bronchitis. Likewise, the steam probably will cause some other illnesses to important organs such as the liver, kidneys and nervous system.
Furthermore, the contact with high temperature liquid asphalt mix will cause serious skin burns. That is why it is recommended to all people involved in the process to always wear its personal protective equipment in order to be safe from asphalt fumes.
Click here to read more about asphalt safety training programs.
In cold weather areas, snow and rain can cause black ice to occur. Black ice is an extremely dangerous phenomenon that consists of a layer of ice forming over the pavement roads that is difficult to see, which as a result causes the asphalt roads to become extremely slippery leading to car accidents. We recommend using Safe Paw, an ice melter that is pet friendly and will keep your property and family safe.