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SAFETY ALERT (ALT-011)

Asphalt Mixers

BACKGROUND

Asphalt is a strong adhesive used for road

paving, roofing tar, roofing felt, pipe covering,

floor tiles, waterproofing and many other

products and processes. Asphalt mixers are

popular items of machinery that are widely

used for hot asphalt applications.

Over the past few years several incidents

have occurred where an operator has

suffered injury or ill health whilst using

an asphalt mixer. In some instances the

operator placed their hand and arm into the

barrel of the mixer whilst it was in operation

and as a result suffered serious injury or loss

of limb. Other incidents have involved fire

and explosion, contact with skin or eyes and

inhalation of fumes, all of which are

significant hazards associated with the use

of the mixers.

Certain contributory factors have been

identified as responsible for such incidents,

namely:

operators have not been trained and

competent on the safe use of the

machinery;

operators have not followed recommended

manufacturer guidance; and

the rotating or reciprocating parts of the

machine have not been fully protected

and isolated from operator misuse.

© On-track Multimedia

PRACTICAL GUIDANCE

SAFE OPERATOR

Asphalt mixers should only be operated by

fully trained, competent operators who have

been authorised to do so and any operation

should be accompanied by a suitable

risk assessment. The Original Equipment

Manufacturer (OEM) should be able to

provide initial training when supplying the

equipment. The National Occupational

Standard (NOS) for Plant Operations

provides a suitable bench mark against

which all Intended Learning Outcomes

(ILOs) within training and competence

assessment should be measured.

Operators should wear appropriate heat

resistant protective equipment to protect

against asphalt splatters, such as chemical

goggles or face shield, safety boots laced

without openings, thermally insulated

gauntlets that cover the hands and forearm,

high-visiblity jacket, ear defenders and so

forth. Suitable long sleeve shirts (buttoned

at the collars) and full length safety trousers

(that extend over the top of safety boots)

should be worn as these protect against

burns injury.

Operators should consider using suitable

barrier creams or lotions that will prevent

skin irritation as a result of exposure to

chemicals within the asphalt mix. The

operator’s doctor should be consulted

before using any treatment.

SAFE SITE

Sources of ignition, such as sparks,

electricity, open flames and lighted

cigarettes should be strictly controlled

around the immediate vicinity of operations

as they can cause fire or explosion.

Pedestrians must be segregated from the

‘operational area’ of the asphalt mixer and

its transport routes; these routes should

have good, clear signage and appropriate

traffic control measures.

SAFE MACHINE

The asphalt mixer should undergo regular

periodic maintenance (as specified by the

OEM) to ensure that it is working safely and

efficiently. A machine inspection should be

conducted by the operator at the start of

each shift, with an appropriate record of this

kept. When a fault is found, the machine

should be closed down safely and securely

and not operated again until suitable

repair works have been completed

and the operator has been

authorised to do so.

Machines that have been fitted

with an isolation device

attached to the lid of the

asphalt drum should be

operated. The isolation

device will, upon

opening the lid, cause the power source to be

deactivated, removing the risk of entrapment.

Long handled equipment (and any other tools)

that have been supplied with the machine must

be used as specified by the OEM.

The asphalt mixer should be operated within

its capabilities and maintained in accordance

with OEM instructions. For example, this

includes keeping the equipment clean and free

from asphalt debris, heating the mixture to the

correct temperature (and never overheating)

and placing compressed gas bottles (or other

highly flammable materials) at a safe distance

from the burners.

If there is any doubt about any aspect of the

operation of the asphalt mixer, then the OEM

should be consulted.

OPERC extend thanks to Merlin Asphalt Mixers,

Coalville, Leics, for providing invaluable assistance

during the production of this safety alert.

Images for illustrative purposes only

OPERC: The home of plant and equipment professionals

www.operc.com


SAFETY ALERT (ALT-011)

Asphalt Mixers

BACKGROUND

Asphalt is a strong adhesive used for road

paving, roofing tar, roofing felt, pipe covering,

floor tiles, waterproofing and many other

products and processes. Asphalt mixers are

popular items of machinery that are widely

used for hot asphalt applications.

Over the past few years several incidents

have occurred where an operator has

suffered injury or ill health whilst using

an asphalt mixer. In some instances the

operator placed their hand and arm into the

barrel of the mixer whilst it was in operation

and as a result suffered serious injury or loss

of limb. Other incidents have involved fire

and explosion, contact with skin or eyes and

inhalation of fumes, all of which are

significant hazards associated with the use

of the mixers.

Certain contributory factors have been

identified as responsible for such incidents,

namely:

operators have not been trained and

competent on the safe use of the

machinery;

operators have not followed recommended

manufacturer guidance; and

the rotating or reciprocating parts of the

machine have not been fully protected

and isolated from operator misuse.

© On-track Multimedia

PRACTICAL GUIDANCE

SAFE OPERATOR

Asphalt mixers should only be operated by

fully trained, competent operators who have

been authorised to do so and any operation

should be accompanied by a suitable

risk assessment. The Original Equipment

Manufacturer (OEM) should be able to

provide initial training when supplying the

equipment. The National Occupational

Standard (NOS) for Plant Operations

provides a suitable bench mark against

which all Intended Learning Outcomes

(ILOs) within training and competence

assessment should be measured.

Operators should wear appropriate heat

resistant protective equipment to protect

against asphalt splatters, such as chemical

goggles or face shield, safety boots laced

without openings, thermally insulated

gauntlets that cover the hands and forearm,

high-visiblity jacket, ear defenders and so

forth. Suitable long sleeve shirts (buttoned

at the collars) and full length safety trousers

(that extend over the top of safety boots)

should be worn as these protect against

burns injury.

Operators should consider using suitable

barrier creams or lotions that will prevent

skin irritation as a result of exposure to

chemicals within the asphalt mix. The

operator’s doctor should be consulted

before using any treatment.

SAFE SITE

Sources of ignition, such as sparks,

electricity, open flames and lighted

cigarettes should be strictly controlled

around the immediate vicinity of operations

as they can cause fire or explosion.

Pedestrians must be segregated from the

‘operational area’ of the asphalt mixer and

its transport routes; these routes should

have good, clear signage and appropriate

traffic control measures.

SAFE MACHINE

The asphalt mixer should undergo regular

periodic maintenance (as specified by the

OEM) to ensure that it is working safely and

efficiently. A machine inspection should be

conducted by the operator at the start of

each shift, with an appropriate record of this

kept. When a fault is found, the machine

should be closed down safely and securely

and not operated again until suitable

repair works have been completed

and the operator has been

authorised to do so.

Machines that have been fitted

with an isolation device

attached to the lid of the

asphalt drum should be

operated. The isolation

device will, upon

opening the lid, cause the power source to be

deactivated, removing the risk of entrapment.

Long handled equipment (and any other tools)

that have been supplied with the machine must

be used as specified by the OEM.

The asphalt mixer should be operated within

its capabilities and maintained in accordance

with OEM instructions. For example, this

includes keeping the equipment clean and free

from asphalt debris, heating the mixture to the

correct temperature (and never overheating)

and placing compressed gas bottles (or other

highly flammable materials) at a safe distance

from the burners.

If there is any doubt about any aspect of the

operation of the asphalt mixer, then the OEM

should be consulted.

OPERC extend thanks to Merlin Asphalt Mixers,

Coalville, Leics, for providing invaluable assistance

during the production of this safety alert.

Images for illustrative purposes only

OPERC: The home of plant and equipment professionals

www.operc.com

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