Maintaining the streets of each city, town, and highway is a never ending process. Although some projects are quick and simply require some manual labor to accomplish, other larger projects may need an asphalt paver to make sure the project is being completed in a timely and accurate manner. However, because these machines are so large, they are often the reason for the thousands of machine and equipment operation injuries/fatalities that occur each and every year. Read on to learn four safety tips that you should keep in mind when dealing with an asphalt paver.
- Preventing the #1 Leading Cause of Accidents – Exiting/Entering
The leading cause of injuries with asphalt pavers is seen at the beginning and end of someone using the machine. It is often the case that drivers will be injured when entering or exiting their machine. Although accidents do happen, many of the injuries could have been prevented if the right procedures were followed. For example, it is imperative that you always practice the three-point stance that many operators teach during safety meetings. This means having two hands on the handlebars and a firm foot on the machine as you pull yourself up. It must be noted that other preventive measures should also be taken, such as removing any dirt, mud, or water from your shoes.
- Get People Out of Your Way
There’s no doubt about it; the most annoying thing for a roller operator is having people constantly get in their way. Not only do they want to get the job done, but they know how dangerous the machine can be. That is why the next safety tip on this list is to make your voice heard. It may hurt some feelings to ask everyone to get away from you, but hurt feelings are much better than a broken bone or worse. If your demands are not heard, then it is highly recommended to speak with your advisor about the safety issue.
- Securing the Area
Before any work begins, it is important for you and any planners on your team to go over the area that is going to be paved. One of the most important discussions of that walkthrough should include the TCPS or temporary traffic control plans. These are used to ensure that the public is far away enough from the site that the risk of accidents occurring is diminished. However, this also includes the type of protective gear that operators will wear as well as the lighting they are going to be in.
- Unloading/Loading Pavers Onto the Site
One of the most common accidents that can occur with asphalt pavers is a rollover. This is often seen during the unloading and loading face of the process. That is why it is so important to take the proper safety measures to ensure that this stage of the project goes off without a hitch. You can accomplish this by making sure that there is enough space around the trailer for the machine to safely maneuver. Next, it is recommended that you have another person there directing you in and out of the trailer.
As you can see from the information above, there are several things you can do to make sure that your next asphalt paving project is that much safer. Always consult with your supervisor to begin a proper dialogue about this very important issue.