Asphalt Safety

Originally published Sept. 28, 2016

Many construction workers use hot, liquid asphalt materials on a regular basis without incident, but it’s always wise to recognize possible hazards to avoid injury.

To protect against health hazards when working with hot asphalt, wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes:

  • Chemical goggles and perhaps a face shield;
  • Thermal insulated gloves with gauntlets that extend up the arm (warn loosely so you can removed them quickly if covered with hot asphalt);
  • Non-slip work boots that protect the ankle; and
  • Pants without cuffs that extend over the top of the boots.

Asphalt workers should keep cool water, a multipurpose fire extinguisher and first aid supplies handy in case someone is injured. If someone is injured from asphalt or asphalt fumes, seek medical help immediately. Basic first aid for asphalt injury include:

For Asphalt Fumes:

  • Move the victim to fresh air.
  • Check the victim for breathing difficulties.
  • Start artificial respiration if breathing stops.
  • Get victim to a physician.

For Cold Asphalt:

  • Remove cold asphalt from the skin with waterless hand cleaner or warm mineral oil.
  • Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Remove contaminated clothing and shower at once.
  • If contaminant gets in the eyes, flush the eyes for at least five minutes with water, lifting the upper and lower eyelids occasionally.
  • Get victim to a physician.

For Hot Asphalt:

  • Apply cold water or ice pack to asphalt skin burns.
  • Do not remove asphalt from the skin.
  • Do not bandage the burn.
  • Get victim to a physician.


Download the recording form here.