2013 Asphalt Operations Safety Innovations

This award recognizes companies that develop innovative ideas or achieve practical outcomes leading to improved worker safety in a roadway, plant site or quarry environment, and whose safety practices are above and beyond normal safety practices. Congratulations to NAPA's 2013 award recipients.  Read more about each safety innovation in the September/October 2014 edition of Asphalt Pavement.


SAF5-TNY Hot AC Sampling Center 3WINNER
Tilcon New York, an Oldcastle Materials Co.
West Nyack, N.Y.



Binder sampling is essential to ensuring the production of high-quality asphalt pavements and a requirement for Quality Control/Quality Assurance.  While a necessary task to perform, testing of hot bituminous materials also poses safety concerns.  Tilcon New York, an Oldcastle Materials Co. created an innovative way to enhance the safe working environment of employees.


Prior procedures dictated Tilcon New York obtained samples of asphalt cement through a valve in the tank— the preferred industry method for sampling. To ensure worker health and safety, employees are required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In order to avoid the potential for dropped samples and accidental splatter, Tilcon devised a Hot Liquid Asphalt Sampling Center. “It was such a priority because getting a sample was such a burn hazard,” stated Frank Arnott with Tilcon New York.


Tilcon’s new sampling center includes a recessed shelf which holds the sampling container, a clear Lexan window, and a cover for placement over the hot asphalt.  Now employees, after dressing in their PPEs, set a sampling container under the valve; with both hands, they open the valve and monitor the pour though the Lexan window.  After a sample has been gathered, a cover is placed over the sample to prevent accidental spills as the liquid cools.


The new system adds additional protection for samplers by providing an innovative solution to a potential risk.


Tilcon New York, an Oldcastle Materials Co.
West Nyack, N.Y.


Tilcon New York, an Oldcastle Materials Co. has a mission — ensuring the safety of those who interact with the company at all times. Recognizing that construction is a job that can be taxing on the worker’s body, Tilcon New York employees developed an innovative way to protect workers by mounting hydraulics lifts designed to hold two 90 lb. jackhammers to the frame of a truck. 


Last year, Tilcon staff evaluated safety risks occurring from the every-day performance of tasks and sought to create innovative ideas for the elimination and mitigation of these risks.  Jack Lukas said, “The crew realized that lifting the jackhammers out of the toolbox was just as difficult as using the jackhammer, and finding a better way to store the hammers would be safer for the men.” The crew developed a great idea — instead of storing heavy jackhammers in metal cases under the truck body which could require unsafe lifting and potential back injuries, they would mount the jackhammers to a hydraulically controlled lift/carrier system.


The carrier is designed so that  two jackhammers sit vertically side-by-side in the holder which allows for the equipment to be raised and turned into a horizontal position for easy, safe, ergonomic removal.  In addition, the crew accounted for safe transport of the equipment in both the vertical and horizontal positions with the installation of a safety latch — ensuring safe, quick, and efficient transport of the jackhammers around a project site.  Mr. Lukas said, “It allows us to save time and eliminates unnecessary setup and breakdown time. It also puts the jackhammers in an ergonomic position and saves our backs and fingers from injury.” This ingenious design was executed onsite by the employees at Tilcon New York thus making it a cost-effective, safety innovation which protects employee health.



Superior Paving Corp.
Gainesville, Va


Superior Paving Corp. is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment.  Asphalt plants are busy when production is underway, and companies have to accommodate paving contractors and their own crews while ensuring public safety.  “‘Safety is for Life’ is our company’s safety slogan. Safety has to be the number one thing you think about in our industry. If everyone is thinking about safety, the culture will change, and accidents will continue to decrease,’” said Terry Roof, Assistant General Manager of Asphalt Plants for Superior Paving Corp. Superior Paving Corp. won the award for the installation of cameras under each asphalt storage silo to ensure safe loading of asphalt mixtures into trucks. The cameras help eliminate human error, protect equipment, and ensure a safe working environment for truck drivers and contractors. 


The system dubbed Safe Landing Technology, displays on a television monitor the view directly beneath a silo and displays only the silo called up by the plant operator. The system allows for the plant operator to view the truck bed as it is loaded to ensure safe placement of the vehicle in the drop zone, and that the driver is under the correct silo.  In addition, the camera gives the plant operator the added benefit of ensuring that the truck’s tailgate is properly latched. 


Superior Paving also noticed that the cameras enhanced the quality control/quality assurance of the product.  The cameras are able to ensure that truck beds are completely empty for loading and help ensure proper truck loading to avoid segregation.