Keep Silo Maintenance Safety a Top Priority
BY Sandy Lender
During the midyear meeting in Seattle, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced that Valley Asphalt Corp., Cincinnati, Ohio, had garnered a 2015 Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation Award for developing a freestanding transfer slat catwalk. While that sounds like something to feature in our Safety Spotlight department, it pertains specifically to plant maintenance. Check this out.
Valley Asphalt Corp. developed the freestanding transfer slat catwalk to help employees safely repair transfer slats at its plant. The company’s Asphalt Group Safety Committee used a hierarchy of hazard control steps to engineer a solution that met fall-protection needs in a more streamlined, efficient manner.
“When you’re on a ladder, which could kick out from underneath someone at any time, you don’t really have access to the transfer slats the way that you need to reach them,” Chris Dittus said. He’s the Valley Asphalt operations manager. “With the transfer slat catwalk, employees are able to complete their work faster, they’re able to do it more safely, and they have total access to the transfer slat. You’re not spending extra time fixing it.”
NAPA recognized a total of four companies for safety innovation at a special ceremony during the association’s midyear meeting. The other that focused on maintenance safety came from Oldcastle Materials—Montana Companies, based in Helena, Montana. That group developed an asphalt drum non-entry rescue system, which allows workers to retrieve an employee who may be injured while working in the confined space of an asphalt drum. We’ll take a closer look at that in next month’s Keep It Up department.
The other two excellent safety ideas came from Payne & Dolan and Superior Paving.
Payne & Dolan Inc., Waukesha, Wisconsin, was honored for its lighted spray bar for a tack truck. Realizing the hazardous situation created by the 13-foot-long spray bar projecting beyond the sides of the tack truck, an employee decided to wrap the spray bar with an 18-foot LED light powered through an inverter connected to the vehicle’s battery. The lighted bar reduces a trip hazard for those in the work zone and makes the truck more visible to drivers at night.
Superior Paving Corp., Gainesville, Virginia, was honored for its implantation of a McCav air brake warning system, which visually and audibly alerts drivers if they leave the vehicle without engaging the safety brake, which helps to avert roll-away accidents.