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Under One Roof

Canadian Roofing Reference Manual

1.2.5 Pouring and Mopping Bitumen

Hot bitumen should be poured slowly to prevent splashing. The container should be placed off to the side so that the person who is mopping will not back into it and trip. Organize the mopping operation so that it will not be necessary to walk on an area that has just been mopped. Such surfaces are extremely slippery and can cause a serious fall into the hot bitumen or even off the roof.

Housekeeping is also important where hot bitumen is being carried. All dirt and debris should be removed from the work area. Any wet, slippery conditions resulting from spilled bitumen should be cleaned up immediately after they occur.

Barriers should be placed to keep other trades and pedestrians out of areas where hot bitumen is being used.

Handling of Buckets and Kettles

  • Buckets containing hot bitumen shall not be carried up ladders.
  • Not more than one bucket of hot bitumen shall be carried at one time by a worker on a roof of 1/4 pitch, or steeper.
  • Buckets used in carrying service shall not be filled so full that the liquid surface is within 100 mm (4 in) of the top. No other container transporting hot bitumen shall be filled beyond 75 percent of capacity.
  • An attendant shall be within 30 m (100 ft) of the kettle at all times while the burner flame is on, with no ladders or similar obstacles forming a part of the route to be taken to reach the kettle.

Exception: If a kettle is controlled by an operating thermostat, the above distance and route limitations may not apply, provided that arrangements are made for needed kettle service.

  • A clear path, free of debris, shall be maintained between the kettle and the hoist or hand line.
  • When moving the kettle on any public street or roadway, it shall be drained at least 125 mm (5 in) below the splash rail if the bitumen is still in in a fluid state.

Handling Coal Tar Pitch

  • When coal tar pitch is being handled, suitable skin protection substances shall be readily available at the job site for the use of workmen.
  • Suitable respiratory and eye protection shall be readily available to workers handling coal tar pitch in confined spaces where ventilation is inadequate to promptly dissipate the fumes and vapours.
  • Suitable washing or cleansing facilities shall be available for use on exposed skin surfaces of workers that are handling coal tar pitch.
  • These measures apply to both new applications and to the removal of existing roof components containing coal tar pitch.