Spring is an excellent time to make upgrades and improvements to your facility, including your asphalt. After the winter freeze dissipates and warmer weather comes along, you may find various issues on your property that need tending to. When you’re scheduling your facility’s spring pavement repair job, your utmost priorities as a property manager or building owner involve keeping your facility and its occupants safe. But the truth is that any pavement repair job, whether major or minor, can present potential hazards. So let’s talk about a few of these risks and how you can mitigate them and keep your facility safe this spring.
Identify Hazards Associated with Paving
Asphalt pavement repair involves a handful of potential hazards that both workers and facility managers should be aware of to ensure maximum safety. Heavy machinery is one of the primary hazards associated with any type of asphalt work. The use of asphalt pavers, rollers, and trucks can absolutely pose a risk to workers if they are not used properly. Anyone operating this type of specialized machinery must be adequately trained and follow safety protocols to minimize the risk of accidents. As a property manager or building owner, hiring an ill-equipped team is one risk you won’t want to take. That’s why you should always trust a knowledgeable asphalt paving company to execute this work.
Another potential hazard is dust. Asphalt pavement repair—and any type of construction work—generates a lot of dust, which can be harmful to anyone if inhaled in large quantities. This is why your team of asphalt repair specialists should be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as respirators or masks, to protect themselves from inhaling dust. You might consider also offering PPE to any employees utilizing the grounds or building when your pavement repair is taking place.
Noise is another potential hazard associated with paving. The use of heavy machinery—particularly asphalt pavers and rollers—can generate a significant amount of high-decibel noise that could cause damage to hearing. Workers should wear ear protection to prevent hearing damage over time.
Put Safety Measures in Place
Clearly, it’s essential to identify and manage potential hazards associated with asphalt pavement repair. You’ll want to ensure the safety of your facility’s occupants and prevent accidents. So besides providing your employees with personal protective equipment, what else can you do?
Consider designating a safe work area for the duration of the asphalt repair project. These areas can help keep workers away from the active construction site and still meet their occupational responsibilities with minimal disruption. Be clear that your staff should only enter designated work areas when it is safe to do so. Utilize signage to communicate the work area boundary. Additionally, post signage warning your employees of any dust, noise, or other disruptions during the course of your pavement repair project. A temporary walkway can help keep your employees’ access to the facility open while keeping them out of the project area.
Communicate with anyone using your facility early and often, whether through posted signage or internal communications. Your staff should know well in advance about critical details—like exactly when the projects will be taking place, which areas will be impacted, any workarounds that they need to be aware of, and how long the project will last. Remember to communicate where they should drive, park, walk, and complete their work. And be sure to communicate how your quality pavement repair projects will benefit them too—this can help keep morale up during a noisy, dusty time.
Add Additional Supports
What are some of the other ways you can support your staff during a pavement repair project? Install temporary lighting in the affected areas to improve visibility. Lighting plays a critical role in ensuring the safety of both the asphalt repair workers and any of your staff members. When a construction site is not adequately lit, it poses significant risks to those working in the area, including trip hazards, falls, and other accidents. Temporary lighting is particularly important when working in areas with limited natural light or where work is taking place at night.
But lighting isn’t the only support that can help your facility’s occupants stay safe. Guard rails or fences serve as a physical barrier between the construction site and the surrounding area, preventing pedestrians and vehicles from accidentally entering the site. You can use cones, barriers, guard rails, and fencing to both redirect foot and vehicle traffic as well as reduce your liability. By creating a physical barrier, you can help ensure that your employees remain safe and that your asphalt repair process runs smoothly.
Finally, ensure proper drainage during the lifespan of the asphalt pavement repair project. If water collects at the site, this could wreak havoc on both the success of the project as well as the safety of your employees. Moisture can penetrate through the surface of the asphalt and damage the underlying layers, causing cracks and other structural damage. Plus, water that collects on an asphalt surface can create a slippery area that can be hazardous to drivers and pedestrians alike. Proper drainage ensures that water is channeled away from the surface of the asphalt, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring your pavement project is completed successfully.
Be Mindful of Potential Pavement Failure
Pavement failure can cause a real hazard when it comes to your asphalt repair projects. And while this factor isn’t entirely in your control, there are some things to look for that could indicate an issue. Pavement failures can manifest in a variety of ways, depending on the underlying causes and the type of pavement.
Some common symptoms to look out for are potholes, which are depressions in the pavement that occur when the surface layer of the pavement has deteriorated or been removed. Cracks are another sign of pavement failure and could be transverse (across the width of the pavement), longitudinal (along the length of the pavement), or block cracking (a series of interconnected cracks that divide the pavement into rectangular pieces). While these cracks may start out small, you’ll want to address them quickly, as they could present much larger and more costly issues down the line.
Rutting is another sign of disrepair and occurs when the pavement surface is worn down or compressed by the weight of heavy vehicles, causing ruts or grooves to form. This can lead to poor drainage and hazardous driving conditions. Bleeding is the occurrence of a shiny, sticky film on the surface of the pavement caused by the upward movement of asphalt binder in the pavement. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak up and have your asphalt repair team inspect the underlying cause and determine the appropriate course of action.
Contact Cassidy Paving for Your Spring Pavement Repair Project
When should you execute your next asphalt repair project? What can you expect? What is the useful life of pavement? How will the project impact staff? When it comes to asphalt pavement repair, we know you have a lot of questions and Cassidy Paving is here to answer them. We serve clients in Massachusetts and throughout New England, working with them on the optimal schedule for their specific type of facility, as well as their climate. We provide ample support in the way of barriers, personal protective equipment, signage, and more—and we’re happy to guide you on what you can do as a building owner or facility manager to mitigate risk and keep your property and its occupants safe.
Cassidy Paving is a family-owned and operated asphalt paving company headquartered in Haverhill, MA. Our team of experts is highly trained and ready to tackle any asphalt paving or repair challenge out there. Whether you’re ready to make upgrades to your pavement or you want to take care of structural damage after a long New England winter, we’ve got you covered. Our team of subject matter experts use the latest tools, technology, and techniques to complete each job to your satisfaction. This full-time crew has over 100 years of combined experience and is bonded with full liability and full workers’ compensation insurance. And we’re so confident in our ability to deliver results you’ll be happy with that we offer a satisfaction guarantee on all new paving services.
We serve a wide variety of clients spanning many verticals, including commercial, industrial, and government clients. And we’ve worked on all types and sizes of pavement—from major roadways to small parking lots and driveways. Contact us today to start talking through your spring pavement repair projects and how we can help complete them—and keep you safe throughout the process!
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