Do you know the hidden dangers of asphalt? Working with asphalt is common in construction, but there are multiple risks that can come from working with the material daily or being exposed to the fumes on a consistent basis. Asphalt needs to be heated to a high temperature in order to be poured. This creates gas or fumes that are then admitted into the air. Coming in contact with the hot material can also lead to 2nd or 3rd-degree burns. The dangers of asphalt are important to know so that you can keep yourself and others around the job site, safe.
Knowing the risks of working with asphalt and the possible fumes can help you prepare proper safety equipment and keep health concerns at bay. Working with Precision Asphalt Maintenance will give you the proper safety equipment and the peace of mind that we will do everything we can to protect residents during asphalt work.
Current Regulations On Working Around Asphalt Fumes
While it is possible for asphalt to lead to injuries or respiratory problems there are currently not currently any regulations from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when it comes to asphalt fumes. It is important when working with asphalt to know the dangers and risks, even if there are no legal protections. Asphalt fumes are really only cause for concern when you are exposed for extended amounts of time.
Fumes From Asphalt
In order for asphalt to be used in liquid form it needs to be heated to 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot asphalt can emit Hydrogen Sulfide Gas which can lead to lung damage, suffocation, and death. This is one of the major dangers of asphalt because it is seemingly invisible until you begin to notice symptoms.
Respiratory issues can become more severe when workers or residents are people inhale large amounts. Common symptoms that can come when you have inhaled too much HSG are dizziness, coughing, headaches, and fatigue. Being around heated asphalt for a short period of time may not lead to major health concerns, but prolonged exposure can lead to bronchitis, emphysema, and some cancers.
Risk Of Flammability While Heating Asphalt
There are other dangers of asphalt that come with the high temperature of the material. While asphalt is heated daily, it is extremely flammable when it comes in contact with a spark or open flame. This can lead to severe burns for those that are handling it during their jobs on road paving, piping, and more.
Wearing coveralls, eye protection, and face shields can help prevent burns to your body and keep your vital organs protected. Taking precautions to protect yourself from the dangers of asphalt can help you live a longer and healthier life.
Additional Protection While Working With Asphalt
There are some safety equipment and clothing that can help workers keep themselves from seeing extensive damage from asphalt. If you are a construction worker or have asphalt being installed around your home, here are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Respirator: Working around liquid asphalt comes with high HSG so wearing a respirator can help keep clean air going into your lungs. This way you can still complete your job while protecting yourself from the dangers of asphalt.
Eye protection: Wearing eye protection while on a construction project can protect you from a lot of dangers. Eyewear can prevent blindness that could be caused by flying objects, hot asphalt, or unexpected flames.
Gloves: Thermal gloves can protect your hands from burns that can come from hot asphalt.
Proper asphalt mixing: The most appropriate way to mix asphalt is in an enclosed space. Doing it in an open barrel or kettle will risk fire and fume exposure. Mixing asphalt should also be done when fewer people are on the job site.
Asphalt Work With Precision Asphalt Maintenance
Precision Asphalt Maintenance takes the safety and health of our workers very seriously. We work to provide safe job sites and appropriate safety equipment for those who are in contact with asphalt every day.
If you are in need to asphalt paving, asphalt repair, crack sealing, or other asphalt services, contact our professionals for a bid. We want to help improve your driveway, parking lot, and more with quality asphalt and attention to detail. Working with our Utah experts will help ensure the asphalt is smooth and durable.