Keeping cool when it’s needed

Bitumen is handled at elevated temperatures. There are many important precautions that need to be taken to minimise the risk of burn injuries.

Wearing the right PPE – Personal Protective Equipment – is key in order to avoid bitumen burns. But, in case of an accident the access to a safety shower at the unloading site is essential to help reduce the consequences of the burn.

Eurobitume’s guidelines state, among other things, that the safety shower must:• deliver clean water for at least 15 minutes and the water must be able to reach the whole body,
• be easy to access and be located between 6 and 20 m from the unloading site,
• be tested every week to make sure that all functions are working.

Drivers should also check before bitumen delivery commences.

More at: eurobitume.eu/
publications/documents

The role of the safety shower is to cool down the area of skin affected when in contact with hot bitumen. The cooling down is the best first response to most injuries that occur in contact with bitumen and time is of the essence. By rapidly lowering the temperature, the risk of permanent damage to the skin is reduced.

The contractor Skanska requires in their basic standard for bitumen unloading sites that all asphalt plants should be equipped with safety showers. This requirement highlights the important role of safety showers in the safe handling of bitumen.

This is also the standard for Eurobitume, highlighted in the Guide to Safe Delivery of Bitumen.

“Apart from the fact that the safety shower must be easy to access, it’s extremely important to have functional safety,” says Bjørn Trana, QSHA Manager for Skanska in Norway.

Skanska installed new safety showers at its asphalt plants in Norway in 2017. They based their work on a project about safe logistics that was being run by Skanska in Sweden. Nynas was also involved in that project and continues to have regular meetings with Skanska and all other customers on safety.

“So the Swedish model forms the basis of the way we work here in Norway, and it’s also in line with the best practice for safety showers drawn up by Eurobitume,” explains Bjørn Trana.

Projects

Sokndal, Norway

The recently opened Motorcenter Norway offers everything from go-carting to drag racing. Nynas was involved in the project by supplying Nypol HF 105, a polymer-modified bitumen ideal for pavements that are subjected to high stresses.

Projects

Gothenburg, Sweden

The Älvsborg Bridge spans the estuary of the Göta Älv river at the entrance to Gothenburg and the biggest port in Scandinavia. The bridge, officially opened in 1966, has a total length of 930 m and a suspended span of 418 m. To guarantee the bridge's functionality and extend its useful life, extensive maintenance work has been under way since 2019, the third and final stage being completed this summer.

Talking point

Road infrastructure in North-Western Europe

Even though many successful road projects have been completed in Western Europe in recent years, the durability and availability of the road infrastructure needs to be improved.

Interview

Paving the way for asphalt 4.0

Digitalisation is making inroads in the asphalt industry. The latest Eurasphalt & Eurobitume (E&E) Congress was held virtually in June. It was a success, but the next E&E event will allow industry stakeholders to meet face-to-face.

Noted

All the key players are working together to achieve the best possible result.

Katri Eskola, Specialist Road Maintenance Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

Talking point: The COVID-19 pandemic


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