Research to Practice (r2p)

Asphalt Partnership Case Study

The Asphalt Partnership is a multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary partnership, which integrates real-world conditions and work practices with scientific research and evaluation. This Partnership has been recognized as a collaborative model for promoting evidence-based health and safety practices. Since its establishment in the mid-1990’s, a variety of stakeholders have participated including, industry contractors, labor, government, and manufacturers, and  a wide range of worker safety and health research and intervention projects have been undertaken, including:

  • Reducing exposure to asphalt fumes
  • Studying and addressing exposure to silica during asphalt milling
  • Studying and addressing dermal exposures in the asphalt paving environment
  • Promoting work zone safety.

CPWR and UC Berkeley researchers conducted a case study of the Asphalt Partnership with a focus on the original engineering controls collaboration, which resulted in a voluntary 1997 agreement to equip all newly manufactured highway-class pavers in the U.S. with systems to collect and vent asphalt fumes away from workers.

Case study methods included 15 in-depth interviews with partners and a document review of relevant background materials and literature. The study addressed the following research questions:

  • How successful was the Asphalt Partnership in obtaining widespread adoption of worker health and safety solutions and reducing worker injuries and illnesses?
  • How successful was the Partnership in collaborating across stakeholder groups and creating a sustainable, replicable model for multidisciplinary r2p partnerships?
  • What elements contributed to the challenges and eventual success of the Partnership?

For a full report on the Asphalt Partnership, click here.

For an abbreviated Success Story about the Asphalt Partnership, click here.

Through the Partnership’s extensive efforts, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a new best practices document that provides best practices to help reduce respirable silica exposures during asphalt pavement milling in highway construction.  Based on this document and the work of the Partnership, CPWR has also developed a shorter field guide that provides a quick reference to best practices and control recommendations as well as a daily dust control checklist and other tips that can be used on the jobsite.

NIOSH Best Practice Engineering Control Guidelines to Control Worker Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica during Asphalt Pavement Milling

CPWR Field Guide for Controlling Silica Dust Exposure on Asphalt Pavement Milling Machines