Placement and Compaction All-Hands
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The Quality Asphalt Pavement Awards are a highlight of the TXAPA Annual Meeting, because not only do they honor quality work done by some of the most talented, hard working people in the industry, they also emphasize the fact that TXAPA members, their TxDOT partners, cities, counties, and even private developers are dedicated to the shared values of quality and safety. At TXAPA’s offices in Buda, Texas, conversation often revolves around the characteristics of award-winning projects. In evaluating those winning projects and the people who built them, TXAPA leadership is looking for common threads. Yes, awards are important, but beyond recognition lies the idea that every project should be built like it’s destined for greatness. The question becomes one of how to get every contractor, inspector, supervisor, etc. thinking like an award-winner? The answer is communication. Simple, yes – but not easy.
Enter the All-Hands.
TXAPA will continue to move the needle for quality in the coming decade by promoting a new concept in asphalt paving communication, a gathering of key personnel just prior to placement and compaction called the “All-Hands.” If you are at all familiar with the Texas Asphalt Pavement Association, then you have likely seen and heard that TXAPA is Dedicated to Quality. In its more than 50-year history, quality has been the purpose behind everything the association does, which is why it has evolved to become a leading source of educational opportunities for virtually anyone who needs accurate, thorough information about asphalt paving. Part of TXAPA’s quality mission involves identifying issues that put quality at risk and delivering solutions to help alleviate those risks.
The idea behind the All-Hands is to ensure that everyone involved in a project at ground zero (those in the work zone who oversee the day-to-day progress of construction) are informed and on the same page regarding key aspects of the Quality Control Plan (QCP). The All-Hands should, at the very least, include the Paving Superintendent, Paving Foreman, Inspector, TxDOT Level 1B, and Contractor Level 1B. The content discussed during the All-Hands relates directly back to the Placement and Compaction section of the QCP and covers important points such as what to do when circumstances present challenges. For example, during the All-Hands, those present will review the protocol for accepting a truckload of asphalt should it arrive at a lower temperature than specified. These types of conversations save both time and money, reduce frustration, and foster collaboration, all of which are essential for the success of a project.
TXAPA will promote the All-Hands with informational handouts explaining the concept as well as worksheets that can be used to plan and facilitate one. Resource materials, including a one-page document titled “Steps for an Award-Wining Project,” will be available at texasasphalt.org for on-demand access. TXAPA is also planning an educational series and marketing campaign to span the entire year, including quarterly success profiles in Texas Asphalt Magazine and social media content built around the tagline, “Don’t Compromise.” The Don’t Compromise materials illustrate that when communication breaks down, Safety, Quality, Efficiency, and Workplace Satisfaction are jeopardized.