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First Published June 1996

First Reprint July 1999

RBA Code of Practice


The Refined Bitumen Association is a non-commercial association of
bitumen producers in the United Kingdom. Its role is;

1.

To promote the use of bitumen in;


The construction and maintenance of roads, airfields and
other paved areas.
Industrial applications, such as roofing, water proofing and
corrosion protection.

2.

To provide collective representation for the UK bitumen supply


industry with relevant external bodies.

3.

To encourage and co-ordinate good operational safety and


environmental policies and practices for the benefit of all those
involved in the delivery and handling of bituminous products.

The information is given in good faith and belief in its accuracy at the
time of publication, but does not imply any legal liability or responsibility
by the association.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to provide
safe systems of work to ensure the safety of their employees and the
public.

The Health and Safety Executive was consulted during the preparation of
this Code of Practice.

REFINED BITUMEN ASSOCIATION


Riversdell House, Guildford Street, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 9AU
Tel: 01932 569327 Email: tony_rba@lineone.net

RBA Code of Practice

Refined Bitumen Association


Code of Practice for the Safe Delivery of
Bitumen Products
Objectives of this Publication
At the time of publication, over 50% of bitumen related accidents and lost workday
incidents occur during deliveries. This Code of Practice is intended to assist in reducing
the frequency of such incidents and accidents by raising the awareness of their causes
to those delivering and receiving bitumen in bulk tanker loads, and by defining good
practice.
Good practice is dealt with in the following sections:

Basic delivery site conditions.

Personal Protective Equipment.

Operation and maintenance of customers storage tanks and associated pipework.

Delivery Procedures;
- Customer attended.
- Supplier controlled.

Training.

Advice on treatment of bitumen burns.

Site and delivery audits.

A risk assessment of the delivery site and procedures relating to the discharge of
bitumen must be carried out and an action plan agreed, with time scales set for
rectification of any unacceptable conditions. This should be repeated at regular intervals
and not less than once every two years. The bitumen supplier will be pleased to assist
in this process.
The RBA is willing to offer advice on the layout and design of new bitumen receipt
facilities.

RBA Code of Practice

The Safe Delivery of Bitumen Products


Bitumen is delivered hot (up to 230 deg C) and frequently under pressure. It must be
handled correctly to minimise risk of burns or other injury to those associated with
deliveries.
Cutback bitumen, which contains kerosene, is stored at a temperature above the
flashpoint of kerosene. Additional care must therefore be taken when handling this
product. Further advice should be obtained from your bitumen supplier when handling
these products.

1. Customer Site
a)

Clearly defined safe routes to and from the delivery point should be
provided, including access to and from weighbridges for both vehicles and
personnel.
If drivers are required to weigh in and out, a walkway must be
provided to enable safe access to and from the vehicle.
All approach routes should be well lit, particularly during hours of darkness.

b)

A safe and readily accessible delivery point should be provided;


In selecting the delivery point, due regard should be paid to near-by haul roads
and traffic routes.
The need for vehicle reversing must be kept to a minimum.
A flat even surface for the vehicle, where the driver can discharge his load in
safety and is protected from other traffic movements.
Unrestricted movement around the vehicle.
No access within 6 metres to pedestrians not involved in
delivery operation.
Adequate lighting should be provided in the discharge area.
An area which is tidy and clear of obstruction.
No surrounding or adjacent operations which could impair a safe delivery.
A safe exit route in the event of an emergency.

c)

An emergency shower must be provided within 20 metres of the discharge point,


together with signs indicating its position. Advice on the treatment of bitumen
burns should be displayed in the delivery area.

d)

Instructions for safe operations should be posted in the delivery area.

e)

All receipt facilities, including discharge points, tank gauges and vent pipes should
be regularly cleaned, checked for serviceability and any defects logged and
rectified.

f)

A method should be provided for the collection and disposal of all hose drainings.

g)

A dry powder fire extinguisher should be provided in close proximity to the


delivery flange.

h)

Customers and suppliers are jointly responsible for ensuring that drivers are
aware of the Site Safety and Emergency Procedures.

RBA Code of Practice


2.

Drivers Personal Protective Equipment

All drivers delivering bitumen products have been provided, by their employer, with the
following personal protective equipment and have received training in its use and
maintenance:a)

Single piece coverall.


(Note: Trouser legs must not be tucked inside of boots).

b)

Protective footwear.

c)

Head protection; helmet, visor and neck apron.

d)

Gauntlet gloves.

e)

Fluorescent over jacket or tabard.

f)

Ear defenders for use in identified areas.

3.

Customer Storage & Associated Pipework

a)

Sufficient tank ullage to take load +10% should be provided.

b)

Each tank and its associated delivery pipe should be independently and uniquely
identified with both the tank number and grade.

c)

Adequate reliable means of gauging the tank contents and ullage should be
available. Such gauges should clearly identify which tank they refer to, and be
visible from the discharge point. Serviceability of contents gauges should be
regularly checked and maintained to the highest standard. Wherever possible a
duplicate system should be provided in the plant control centre.

d)

The fitting of a high-level alarm system is strongly recommended. The activation


of the alarm system should be independent of the contents gauging system. To
avoid product spillage whilst the delivery hose/line is being cleared, the alarms
should be set to trigger at the maximum tank contents less 10%. Alarms should
clearly identify which tank they refer to, when activated.

e)

Content gauges and high level alarms should be clearly visible and audible to all
those responsible for the safe receipt of product. As with content gauges high
level alarms should be regularly tested and maintained to the highest standard.

f)

Overflow and vent pipes should be located where they do not pose a risk to
personnel or delivery vehicles and should be kept clear at all times.

g)

Tank lids must be kept closed at all times and should be fitted with a protective
grating to prevent unauthorised or accidental access by personnel. If in the event
of a product overflow, there is a danger of bitumen spilling onto the discharge
area or any other populated areas, action should be taken to provide protection.

h)

Customer delivery pipework must be of adequate design, well supported and


maintained and fitted with a standard delivery flange, 15mm thick, located 0.5m
1m above ground level.

i)

Access to the customers delivery flange must be such as to allow for safe and
easy connection of the delivery hose.

RBA Code of Practice


3.

Customer Storage & Associated Pipework (continued)

j)

Some customer tanks may be fitted with fill pipes that go to the bottom of the
tank, to minimise oxidation. Such fill pipes must be slotted, or fitted with an
alternative device, to prevent siphoning.

k)

Distance between vehicle and the storage tank flanges should not be more than
2.5 metres.

l)

A flange security system, such as padlocks, should be fitted to maintain control


of the discharge and prevent contamination. Each system should be robust, tank
specific and fit for purpose.

m)

Tanks should be fitted with correctly designed facilities to enable product to be


uplifted from the tank and the tank to be emptied for cleaning and maintenance.

n)

Should there be a requirement to take tank samples, a purpose designed valve


must be permanently fitted to the tank or corresponding pipework.

o)

All access ladders and walkways on tank roofs should be fitted with suitable
guards to prevent falls.

p)

Where bitumen EMULSION tanks are present, it is imperative that all supply, and
return pipework are segregated from the bitumen pipework system. Fill point
connections should be of the screw on type, to prevent accidental connection.

q)

Where bitumen tanks are being returned to service, great care should be taken to
ensure that the tank is free of water. The RBA is willing to advise on the
development of a safe procedure for this operation.

4.

Procedures for Customer Attended Deliveries

a)

The customer must confirm that the grade and quantity being delivered are correct.

b)

The customers representative is responsible for:- Nominating the appropriate storage tank and receiving flange for the delivery.
- Certifying that there is sufficient ullage to receive the full vehicle load.
- Signing the drivers documentation prior to delivery.
- Ensuring lines and valves are routed to correct tanks.

c)

Wherever possible the customers representative should visually monitor the


delivery process. Where this is not possible, regular checks should be made on
the delivery drivers well being. When the customers representative is in the
vicinity of the discharge point, appropriate protective clothing must be worn, as
stated in Section 2 Drivers Personal Protective Equipment.

d)

All unauthorised personnel must be kept away from the area surrounding the
delivery hose. Where tanks are situated inside buildings that are poorly
ventilated, entry into that building must be restricted to authorised personnel
only, and during discharge, activities inside the building must be kept to a
minimum.

e)

Split loads are not recommended. However, if the load is to be delivered into
more than one tank, each tank must be treated as a separate delivery point. If
the vehicle needs to be moved, the delivery procedure must be repeated in full.
This will require the removal of the delivery hose from both vehicle outlet and
customers flange. Delivery documents shall be endorsed accordingly, to identify
the additional tank(s) and in particular, that ullage and grade checks have been
completed prior to delivery.

RBA Code of Practice


4.

Procedures for Customer Attended Deliveries (continued)

f)

On completion of delivery, the driver will clear all discharge pipework and
disconnect the tanker hose. All hose drainings must be disposed of in the
receptacle provided by the customer for this purpose.

g)

On completion of delivery, the customers representative shall complete and sign


the delivery documents to acknowledge receipt of load. The customers
representative shall also confirm that the flange security system is re-instated.

h)

The driver is solely responsible for the operation of his vehicle and equipment
throughout the discharge procedure and shall remain by the vehicle shut off valve
whilst the discharge is taking place. The driver shall wear full Personal Protective
Equipment at all times during the discharge process, as stated in Section 2.

i)

Samples must only be taken from an approved sampling point fitted to the
customers tank or pipework. Under no circumstances must samples be taken
from delivery vehicles or hoses at delivery sites.

j)

Any deficiency in tanker drivers delivery procedures must be promptly reported


to the bitumen supplier who will take corrective action.

k)

Drivers are encouraged to report any defects that they identify at customers
sites, so that corrective action can be taken.

5.

Supplier Controlled Deliveries

Bitumen customers and suppliers may agree to supplier controlled deliveries


provided that;
a)

Two trained people are present during vehicle discharge.

b)

Site specific procedures are drawn up by the customer and supplier and given to
the driver prior to discharge.

6.

Bitumen Specific Training

a)

All drivers employed in the transportation and delivery of bitumen products


receive regular training in accordance with the Carriage of Dangerous Goods
Regulations 1996.

b)

Customers representatives should receive training on the safe handling, storage


and receipt of bitumen products. Training requirements should be reviewed
regularly.

c)

Training records of all individuals must be kept on file.

d)

Most bitumen suppliers will offer assistance in training.

7.

Guidance for the Treatment of Bitumen Burns

Comprehensive advice for the treatment of bitumen burns has been issued by the
European Bitumen Association (Eurobitume). The RBA fully supports the advice given
and includes it in this Code of Practice.