Asphalt is a product extensively used in construction work, including road construction, paving, roofing, and manufacturing. When asphalt is heated for use, fumes are released that can be harmful to workers.
Inhalation of asphalt fumes can cause effects, including some that are serious and permanent. Some of the symptoms asphalt fumes can cause are:
- Throat and eye irritation
- Skin rash
Prevention and Risk Reduction
Controlling or removing the risk and hazards in your workplace is the best way to reduce the potential for injury. Here’s a list of risk controls to make use of, in order of highest priority:
Eliminate or Substitute the Hazard
Can an alternative material be used?
Can you improve ventilation, or use a process that generates less asphalt fumes?
Are workers trained in safe work practices? Can you schedule work to occur when there are less people around? Are there warning signs posted?
Personal Protective Equipment
Do workers have required respirators, footwear, eye wear, gloves, or other protective clothing? Are workers trained on how to properly use personal protective equipment?