ROADWAY & ASPHALT PAVING SAFETY

Potential hazards during roadway construction and asphalt paving include:

  • Getting stuck by heavy equipment and vehicles.
  • Radiant heat from hot mix asphalt.
  • Strains and sprains.

STRUCK BY

Struck-by accidents account for 11% of construction fatalities.1 Vehicle and equipment traffic including dump trucks, paving equipment, rollers and other heavy equipment, creates a struck-by hazard for contractors working within the project.

The size and height of equipment create blind spots for the operator that can extend greater than 10 feet outside the perimeter of the vehicle or equipment.2

  • Before an employee goes to a location in the hazard area that is out of view of the operator, the employee must ensure that the operator is aware of/informed they are going to that area.3
  • Never walk in front, along the side or behind moving vehicles or equipment.
  • Maintain a three-foot perimeter around all operating vehicles and equipment.
  • No work activity should take place within the swing radius of excavation equipment.

HOT MIX ASPHALT TEMPERATURES

The temperature of regular hot mix asphalt will average between 275 – 300F. The radiant heat of the hot mix asphalt combined with excessive summer temperatures can increase the possibility of heat-related illness like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Hydrate early, and hydrate often. For every pound of lost body weight, you should consume16 ounces of water or electrolyte beverage. Tell your supervisor or foreman immediately if you begin to feel dizzy, fatigued or nauseated; experience muscle cramps; or if you develop a headache.

STRAINS AND SPRAINS

Stepping on and off vehicles and equipment creates the possibility for an injury.

  • Maintain three points of contact when getting on or off equipment.
  • Be aware of the surface you are stepping on to.

Lifting materials and equipment

  • Put yourself in a good position.
  • Keep the object close to your waist (center of mass). The farther your shoulders are past your waist, the greater the chance of injury.
  • Don’t act foolishly. Know your limits. Ask for help when you need it.

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018
2. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/highwayworkzones/bad/imagelookup.html
3. 1926.1424(a)(3)(i)

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Asphalt Safety

Originally published 05/16/2018

Working on the ground during asphalt paving can be a high-risk occupation. There are hazards of working close to vehicle traffic, heavy equipment, complex machinery, and hot asphalt. Ground workers must always be aware that the traffic near the work area is ultimately controlled by individual drivers who may be inexperienced, unskilled, inattentive, or impaired. There is often no safeguard against these drivers other than the asphalt worker’s constant alertness and attention to the conditions of the jobsite.

Exercise caution when trucks are delivering asphalt. Do not move between the paving machine and backing trucks. Do not work or stand near the hopper of the paving machine when a materials truck is making its initial dump. General repairs must not be made to powered equipment until workers are protected from movement of equipment. Unsafe conditions and situations must be reported to supervisors immediately. Schedule work during low traffic hours if possible. During night operations, precautions need to be taken to yet even a higher level. Where possible light traffic control devices, reduce traffic speeds, and reduce spacing of traffic control devices.

Flaggers must be in a good physical condition, mentally alert, and have the ability to react quickly in an emergency. Flaggers vests, shirt, or jacket must be fluorescent orange, yellow, or yellow-green. Night time work requires retro reflective wear.

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

  • Safety goggles or safety glasses.
  • Chemical resistant and heavy-duty gloves.
  • Respirator when appropriate.
  • Hard hat.
  • Long sleeved shirts.
  • Ear muffs or plugs.
  • High waterproof work boots.
  • Pants without cuffs that extend over the top of the boots.

Wash hands before eating and leaving the work site. Use soap or other safe cleaners. Eat lunch where the wind will blow fumes away from you. Shower after work as soon as possible. Change work clothes before going home to keep asphalt and solvents out of your car and home.

All workers should be trained in first-aid procedures in case of injury.

Download a recording form here.

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.

2018 Legislative Wrapup

Much has been made of the ending of the 2018 state legislative session, and with good reason! It was, by all accounts, chaotic and messy, leaving more than a few broadly supported issues unresolved. Governor Eric Holcomb will be calling legislators back to the Statehouse in May to finalize a couple of these issues (federal/state tax law conformity, additional school safety funding) in a short special legislative session. But what happened with ICI’s legislative issues? Let’s recap.

ACTION ALERT UPDATES

HB 1015 (Torr) contained two different sections aimed at changing some language in state indemnity statutes. After some early negotiating on the House side, Rep. Torr agreed to alter his approach and support changes to the law aimed at eliminating problems with vicarious liability issues on worksites – a stance the construction industry broadly supported. However, the second section of the bill contained provisions supported by design professionals that would have statutorily removed them from the private negotiation process with owners and contractors in regards to duty to defend provisions in contracts. A business coalition made up of contractors, utilities, manufacturers and other entities staunchly opposed this section of the bill to the point where the entire measure died in a conference committee. We should be prepared for this idea to come back in a future legislative session.

HB 1021 (Torr) was an attempt to make it easier for private sector project developers to “bond around” liens that have been placed on a project in order for contractors to get paid for work they have performed. After the bill passed the House, ICI members jumped into the battle and began contacting state Senators to voice concerns about taking away what little leverage contractors have in ensuring payment. And your efforts worked! Senators didn’t even hear the bill in committee.

HB 1341 (Soliday) was one of the bills caught in the last-day-of-session shenanigans. This bill, a priority of the Governor, would have set up a regulatory framework for the operation of autonomous vehicles on Indiana roads and highways. Despite some differences in the two legislative chambers, it was expected to pass, but ultimately didn’t get across the finish line. We expect this bill to come back in 2019.

SB 242 (Holdman) was the omnibus Department of Revenue bill also caught up in the final minutes of the session. The bill contained language that would have put into statute the decades-long sales tax exemption on equipment used in the manufacture of asphalt. Though elements of this bill related to federal tax law conformity are expected to be considered during this year’s special legislative session, this portion of the bill will not come back until 2019.

OFF TO SUMMER STUDY COMMITTEE

HBs 1301 and 1374 (Carbaugh and Soliday) both contained language asking for a summer legislative study relating to payment and performance bonds for future public-private projects. Both items are awaiting the Governor’s signature.

HR 8 (Pressel) is another measure asking for a summer study committee, this one on the use of speed cameras in work zones and increased fines for distracted drivers. Ultimately, Legislative Council will decide if these issues will make the limited list of study topics.

THANK YOU

We want to express our appreciation to ICI members for picking up the telephone or typing out an email whenever we requested your help. Your work on these measures made a HUGE difference. Please remember this next year, and in future years, when similar requests come across your desk – your input matters!