3 Real Dangers of Asphalt Paving Installation
There are many DIY projects on the Internet that sound fairly simple to perform. One of these is performing your own asphalt paving installation. However, there are certain safety concerns that may not be mentioned in tackling this job in your Ramsey home.
Hot Mix Asphalt
According to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), hot mix asphalt can cause thermal burns when exposed to skin. Asphalt is heated between 270 degrees and 325 degrees F, depending on the air temperature and compounded aggregate temperature. Many people do not realize how hot the mixture has to be and any type of exposure could be harmful or even fatal.
Toxins Found in Asphalt
Asphalt is a petroleum-based product. Asphalt fumes generated at high temperatures generate carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs) that can be harmful to the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Coughing and wheezing are common symptoms of exposure to asphalt fumes and can occur in both hot or cold installation.
Accidents with Asphalt Machinery
Heavy equipment, such as compressors, rollers, distributors and asphalt haul trucks are dangerous to those that are not trained in their use. Only qualified machine operators should be allowed to operate this type of equipment. With the uneven landscaping and rocks that are often present in the installation of asphalt paving, one slip of a foot could cause injury. Further, distributors that spray the asphalt mix are highly combustible, leading to the risk of fire.
Personal protective gear is recommended whenever asphalt paving installation is done. These include:
- Chemical goggles
- Thermally insulated gloves
- Laced boots at least 6 inches high
- Pants without cuffs
- Loose protective shirts
Application of skin barrier cream.
Other items to keep on hand are NIOSH-approved dust respirators, plenty of fresh water and a first aid kit.
Asphalt, hot or cold, is no material to take lightly. Proper training is required by OSHA for companies that work in the asphalt paving industry. Not only does this material require respect in handling, but understanding the precautions to use and what to do in case of an accident is also critical.
Safety is an essential part of the asphalt paving process. NEVER DIY or resort to unlicensed workers. It can be a huge liability if they get injured on your property. Call the professionals of McFarlane Asphalt instead at (201) 327-5258.