Observe, think and act

In order for all employees to go home from work every day without injuries, each individual must assume personal responsibility. Bitumen Matters visited the Special Products Plant (SPP) at the Nynas refinery in Eastham.

The Eastham refinery is located in the north-west of England and there is a special products plant here where Nynas produces polymer-modified bitumen and bitumen emulsions. Operations go on around the clock, and there is a constant focus on safety.

“There are a variety of hazards around the plant,” says James Reid, Nynas UK Operations Manager. “These include hot products and utilities, harmful chemicals, moving vehicles, work at height, noise, manual handling and rotating equipment.”

In order to avoid accidents, there are clear requirements that all employees must be aware of and adhere to.

“It is important to follow the Nynas principle of ‘Observe, think and act’ at all times as well as adhering to all applicable procedures and risk assessments, including wearing the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”

Long-term focus on safety has produced good results. Since 2011 there have been substantial reductions in personal accidents (TRI).

One part of the safety process is to encourage the reporting of near misses. If these are reported, risk factors can be identified at an early stage and thus injuries can be avoided.

“Over recent years, the near miss reporting rate has risen substantially,” continues James Reid. “It is vital to report everything so the team can learn to do better in future.”

Work to achieve a safe workplace is an ongoing process, and it involves making sure that safety awareness is maintained at a constantly high level.

“The SPP team is focused on continuous improvement and further developing a risk-based thinking culture. This will be achieved through sharing our learning and maintaining our daily discussions about safety in production meetings, continued focus on near miss reporting and reviewing our procedures in practice,” concludes James Reid.

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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