Knowledge saves lives

Regular training is the basis of all safety work. Only then is it possible to act both quickly and correctly if an accident actually occurs.

Nynas ongoing safety work includes regular inspections of customer delivery sites as well as refresher training for drivers on the topics of safe handling and transportation of bitumen. Both these elements are conducted in order to minimise the risk of accidents – and to make sure that the people involved with the handling of bitumen know how to act if accidents do occur.

Johan Persson is one of the drivers who regularly takes part in safe handling training. He has been delivering Nynas bitumen products for almost ten years, mainly from the Gothenburg refinery, and is very familiar with the way safety work must be performed.

This was made all too clear during the summer, when an incident occurred that could have had very serious consequences.

“One of our summer trainees was cleaning up outside the haulage company where I work,” explains Johan. “As he was setting fire to the rubbish, the gases ignited unexpectedly quickly. When he came into the workshop to find me, calling for help, I saw that both his face and hands were bright red and wounded.”

Johan acted instantly, taking the trainee to the changing room, removing his clothes and making sure he went under the shower.

“He kept asking for colder water, but I resisted that because of the risk of hypothermia. The pain in both his face and his hands meant that he was at risk of going into shock without pain relief, so he had to stay in the shower until the ambulance arrived.”

At the hospital, it was confirmed that Johan had saved him from being scarred for life. All that is left now is a small red mark on one arm, to remind him of the shocking incident.

Johan has taken part in Nynas driver meetings and safe handling training for many years, and in all honesty thought that occasionally there was a bit too much talk about safety. But when the incident happened, even though it did not involve bitumen this time, he knew exactly what he had to do, and he also did it quickly and effectively, without hesitation.

“We must be aware that something can happen when you least expect it. So you have to be prepared and know what to do,” he concludes.

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.

6
Sustainable Development

The way forward for Wales

Over ten years in the making, the Welsh Government’s new surface course specification centres around stone mastic asphalt (SMA) and hopes to significantly increase the service life of the road surface materials.

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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