The Hidden Hazards of Liquid Asphalt for Industrial Workers

by | Nov 5, 2022 | Firm News, Industrial Accident, Personal Injury

In the realm of construction and industrial applications, liquid asphalt plays a pivotal role due to its adhesive and waterproofing properties. However, its use is not without significant risks, particularly to the health and safety of industrial workers exposed to this material daily. Understanding the dangers associated with liquid asphalt is crucial for implementing effective safety measures and protecting workers from potential harm. This article aims to shed light on the various types of injuries that can occur from handling liquid asphalt and underscores the importance of adherence to safety protocols.

Thermal Burns and Skin Injuries

One of the most immediate dangers of working with liquid asphalt is the risk of thermal burns. Liquid asphalt is typically used at high temperatures, often exceeding 212°F (100°C), which can cause severe burns upon contact with skin. These burns not only inflict immediate pain but can also lead to long-term scarring and even disfigurement. Furthermore, the sticky nature of asphalt means it adheres to the skin, intensifying the burn as it retains heat for longer periods. Immediate and proper treatment is essential to mitigate the severity of these injuries, highlighting the need for readily accessible first aid stations and trained personnel on-site.

Respiratory Hazards from Fumes

The heating process of liquid asphalt releases fumes that contain various harmful chemicals, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Inhalation of these fumes can lead to acute respiratory issues such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Prolonged exposure increases the risk of more serious conditions, including chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. Employing proper ventilation systems in work areas and providing workers with appropriate respiratory protective equipment (RPE) are critical measures to reduce the inhalation of toxic fumes.

Long-Term Health Risks

In addition to the immediate risks of burns and respiratory distress, long-term exposure to liquid asphalt poses other significant health hazards. Continuous contact with asphalt can result in skin conditions such as folliculitis or miliaria, while long-term inhalation of fumes has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Ensuring that workers have access to protective clothing, including gloves and long sleeves, and enforcing strict hygiene practices, such as regular washing and changing of contaminated clothing, are vital in minimizing these risks.

Implementing Safety Measures

To protect industrial workers from the dangers of liquid asphalt, employers must implement comprehensive safety protocols. This includes conducting thorough risk assessments, providing training on the safe handling of asphalt, ensuring the use of personal protective equipment, and maintaining a clean and well-ventilated working environment. Regular health screenings and monitoring can also help in early detection and prevention of asphalt-related health issues.

Conclusion

The hazards associated with liquid asphalt demand a proactive approach to workplace safety. By understanding the potential injuries and health risks, employers can take decisive action to safeguard their workers. It is not only a regulatory obligation but a moral imperative to ensure that the benefits of using liquid asphalt in industrial applications do not come at the cost of worker health and safety. Through education, proper equipment, and adherence to safety standards, the risks associated with liquid asphalt can be significantly mitigated, creating a safer and healthier work environment for all involved

Those touched by an industrial accident should know their legal rights and remedies, and act quickly to preserve them. Our attorneys have extensive experience in cases involving industrial and plant personal injury and wrongful death, including those caused by equipment malfunctioning.  The firm has experience in courts across the country and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or as a result of an explosion, or been seriously injured.

The experienced attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident at a plant or refinery.  Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.