Eurobitume France 2020 reception

Europe |

Some 75 high level figures from the bitumen industry and its stakeholders attended Eurobitume France’s recent annual New Year’s cocktail reception at the Fédération Nationale des Travaux Publics (FNTP) in Paris.

After welcoming participants on behalf of the eight members of Eurobitume France, Eurobitume France Director Jean-Michel Michou reminded the audience of Eurobitume's mission and spoke about last year’s successes, before setting out Eurobitume’s plans for 2020.

Among the 2019 highlights, the new H2S pocket guide was presented and distributed to participants. This guide is helping Eurobitume France promote the efficient, safe use of bitumen in road, industrial and building projects throughout 2020.

“2019 has been a great year”, stated Jean-Michel Michou. “We actively promoted Eurobitume’s position regarding the risk of drivers being exposed to H2S during bitumen loading, transport and delivery operations.”

 Eurobitume France members agree with the conclusions of independent studies conducted by ATMD (the dangerous goods hauliers trade association), in collaboration with Eurobitume, which clearly stated that drivers were at no time subject to exposure levels close to the limit values (average exposure value of 5 ppm over eight hours, with a maximum of 10 ppm over a 15-minute period).

Michou added: "As for working at height, based upon years of experience our members strictly limit this on their industrial sites. They recommend that operators working at height should have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) which should be as ergonomic as possible, so as not to unnecessarily complicate the performance of their task."

 “The transport safety experts of our association's members identified a solution to reduce two major risks, the risk of falling and the risk of exposure to bitumen fumes, and therefore to H2S. The solution is to equip all bitumen tanks with a ground venting system and remove the ladders, but as it will take time to have 100% of bitumen tanks equipped in this way we must continue to provide drivers who have to climb on bitumen tanks with the educational information they need to control this risk – which is contained in the new H2S pocket guide.”

Michou also announced the imminent publication on the Eurobitume website of the new Eurobitume LCI (Life Cycle Inventory) report, and briefly explained the main differences between this and the previous version published in 2012.

He added that plans for 2020 continue to have a strong focus on safety and include:

  • Updating Eurobitume’s guide on the boil over recommendation
  • Editing Eurobitume’s new guide on the operation of tank truck from the ground recommendation
  • Editing Eurobitume’s tank truck design recommendation

Finally, Jean Michel ended his presentation by promoting and encouraging people to register for the 7th E&E Congress, which takes place this May in Madrid. In her closing remarks, Eurobitume Director General Siobhan McKelvey stressed the importance of the H2S pocket guide and the new bitumen LCI report, and highlighted the significance of these national events in improving relations with local stakeholders and strengthening the Eurobitume brand.

She also encouraged participants to attend the industry’s flagship event of the year, the E&E Congress in Madrid, before inviting them to a reception in the elegant lounges of the FNTP building.