Safety comes first
Nynas is actively working with customers and contractors to reach the goal of zero injuries at work.
Those working in asphalt plants must manage various kinds of hazards and risk, not least to avoid crushing injuries. When it comes to the handling of bitumen it is primarily drivers who are in the danger zone. But through a combination of investment, instruction and training, the situation has massively improved in recent years.
Paul Lamb, Nynas UK & Western Europe HSSE Manager and Chairperson of the industry organisation Eurobitume’s Safety Task Group, confirms that the trend in the efforts made to improve safety is positive and growing in many parts of Europe.
“In my view, safety knowledge and awareness is growing on a yearly basis, both among product suppliers and among aggregate companies operating asphalt plants,” he says.
However, even with these improvements companies cannot sit back, relax and assume that all safety issues are fully under control. Creating a truly safe work environment demands continuous effort and awareness of hazards and risks among all those involved.
“The overarching objective for us is that all employees and contractors must be able to go home at the end of their working day in the same condition as they arrived for work,” confirms Paul Lamb. “Management, employees and contractors are interdependent and therefore it is crucial that we work as a team to create a robust safety culture and reduce all Total Recordable Incidents (TRI),” he adds.
Can you give us some examples of the activities that are taking place in Nynas?
“Our Production team holds regular and in some cases daily meetings between employees and contractors to make sure that production and preventative maintenance work hand in hand. The Distribution team meets regularly with our logistics contractors to discuss any safety incidents or issues they have raised regarding safe delivery or defects at customers’ sites.”
Another important initiative is the ‘Partnership in Safety’ Nynas has with its customers. It has been developed over a number of years and includes measures such as Safe Bitumen Delivery Presentations for the customers’ employees, as well as scheduled inspections of unloading sites with reference to the minimum requirements specified by Eurobitume.
Nynas’ updated safety material herePaul Lamb emphasises that it is important to focus on safety in all areas in which Nynas operates.
“That work continues at all times to strengthen our safety culture and its high standards.”
So, what new developments can we expect during 2018?
“We're discussing a number of initiatives in our management reviews, realistic targets and KPIs are being set, and our work on safety continues,” replies Paul Lamb. “This includes, for example, clear and visible leadership - management walkabouts, mixed HSSE cascaded meetings for employees and contractors, and customer site inspections offering advice on industry best practice for safe bitumen deliveries.”