Safety Precautions that Contractors Must Observe When Loading Asphalt into Tankers
Australia produces about 10 million metric tonnes of asphalt annually. The production capacity can be attributed to not only the increased demand for better-paved roads but also because asphalt is the material of choice for driveway paving today. The high demand has led to increased competition for driveway paving clients; consequently, contractors are paying little attention to safety precautions when loading asphalt. When hot, the material itself, as well as the fumes it produces, is dangerous and can cause significant harm when poorly handled. It is prudent that contractors be careful when loading asphalt onto their trucks in preparation for asphalt laying. The safety precautions highlighted in this article should be of great help.
Confirm Truck's Previous Load -- Contractors use trucks to transport different materials to work sites. As such, there might remain residues of building materials after a tanker makes a delivery, mainly when a thorough cleaning is not conducted. For this reason, a contractor's truck driver must confirm the truck's previous load. The information is critical because, for instance, if there is water inside the tank and hot wax is poured, the water will turn into steam and cause the asphalt to foam. Additionally, due to the high temperature of asphalt at the loading zone, the presence of impurities can cause a fire inside the tank. By going through truck's manifest, a driver can tell what was last ferried using the container and take necessary precautionary steps before loading hot asphalt.
Keep Truck stationery -- During asphalt loading, it is essential for a truck to remain stationary until the last bit of asphalt leaves the loading spout. Some drivers will, however, turn off the off the engine, but leave the keys inside the ignition chamber. In such a scenario, the likelihood of a colleague driving off when the truck is still loading is very high, and it can cause accidents. To be on the safe side, make sure that you take out keys from the ignition and pocket them. Locking the brakes and choking the wheels will further ensure that a truck stays stationary on its rack at a loading stage.
Keep a Safe Distance -- Since hot asphalt produces dangerous fumes, it is advisable for drivers to stay as far away as is reasonably possible. Additionally, since loading spouts use high-pressure pumps, there is a possibility of the spout lifting off and spewing hot asphalt everywhere. For safety, establish the direction that wind is blowing from and then position yourself upwind to avoid inhaling dangerous fumes. Also, ensure that the spout is secured adequately with the help of a latch.