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Safety is a top priority at asphalt facilities, and it shows. Because asphalt facilities work with fuel and fuel oil, they take strict precautions to prevent accidents or spills. By federal law, an asphalt facility must keep these products either in underground tanks that meet the strict standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or in aboveground tanks surrounded by berms, that would hold all the contents in the event of a spill. In addition, each facility must maintain a rigorous program for inspecting and training to prevent spills from occurring.
Work site safety
The safety and health of workers is just as important. Because construction and maintenance work is conducted in work zones with cars and trucks zipping by, the paving site is an area of special concern.
Thanks to an initiative led by the asphalt industry, all highway-class pavers manufactured in the U.S. now incorporate engineering controls that vent asphalt fumes away from workers during paving operations, improving conditions at the paving site. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recognized the asphalt industry partnership with its first-ever NORA Award. Read more about the NORA award.
To develop work zone safety training materials, the National Asphalt Paving Association (NAPA) helped secure a grant from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Working in partnership with NAPA are the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Laborers' International Union of North America. The Susan B. Harwood Grant is being used to develop training aids that may be customized to the individual organization's needs and promote safety for all workers, including Spanish-speaking crews.
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