FINALIST - Safer construction or contracting site
FM Conway’s Specialist Surfacing division has been working on ways to reduce the use of open flame while working on the highway, and identified that, by reducing its use of thermal lances and Dutch torches for the forced drying of road surfaces, it could eliminate up to 40% of its propane-driven open flame practices.
The traditional methods of surface drying within the road marking industry has long posed a danger to the workforce, due to the length of time operatives are exposed to excessive noise, as well as the risk that the heat of the tools, and the naked flames that they produce, pose to the workforce, and to members of the public.
Thermal lances work from combining a mixture of propane gas and compressed air, which creates an exhaust gas that burns at around 1,000 degrees C. Not only is this practise highly dangerous for the user and bystanders, but the procedure is also harmful to the environment and emits high levels of carbon dioxide. If there are faults with the equipment, the process can emit carbon monoxide.
Following a near miss where a hot torch burner had been left in centre of a busy high street, FM Conway set up a ‘Big Risk’ reaction task and finish group to identify and implement a means of eliminating these hazards.
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