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Fifty-five thousand Colas employees worldwide focused on a single safety topic the last week of June: addictions.

Colas Safety Awareness Week 2018 brought to attention the many forms of addiction, including alcohol, drugs and medicines, and even cell phones/mobile devices.

Did you know?

  • Combining alcohol with cannabis (marijuana) multiplies your risk of an accident by 24 times?
  • The stopping distance on a dry road at 30 miles per hour of a sober driver is 85 feet, but after only two drinks the stopping distance increases to 108 feet?
  • Writing a text message while driving multiplies the risk of an accident by 23 times?

You may learn more about these serious addictions by reading the attachments.

Colas Safety Awareness Week 2018 - Alcohol Addiction

Colas Safety Awareness Week 2018 - Drugs Addiction

Colas Safety Awareness Week 2018 - Cellphone Addiction

At the Delta Companies Inc., members of the senior management team visit each crew/facility during Colas Safety Awareness Week to share the common message and address specific issues. Delta’s team included President Zach Green, Plants & Equipment Manager Jerry Farnham, Human Resources Manager Phil Heimbecker, EHS Manager Bruce Menke, EHS Administrative Assistant Micki Horrell, and Business Development Manager Don Rosenbarger.

Monday, June 25

The site of this year’s first visit was the Heartland Materials Quarry in Jackson, Missouri. Since, we arrived early on that Monday morning, Quarry Manager Bill Emmendorfer invited us to join the crew’s Safety Meeting to begin the day. The meeting was led by Operator George Hawthorne, included topics of concern such as wet roadways, slippery ladders, and high walls. Regional Manager Steve Peterson showed a Colas-provided video and led the discussion related to addictions. Micki Horrell tried to train the crew on the concept of “spirit fingers,” but to no avail.

The Corporate Office was next. We joined in the Safety Meeting there, as well. Micki led this meeting with an emphasis on cell phone addiction. Sharing that the average user checks his/her cell phone 110 times each day. This lessens attention to your surroundings, an enormous threat not only to your personal safety, but to those around you.

We next visited the Missouri Regional Office. A large homemade “safety” cookie was shared (courtesy of Regional Controller Sarah Weadon) in addition to the safety messages. Ken Lambert, with ASA Asphalt, shared an important yet difficult-to-hear safety message: each of us must safeguard our attitude. We are responsible for our own attitude, no one else!

The Cape Girardeau HMA Plant was the next group on the day’s agenda. Plant Manager Amos Taylor and his crew wanted to be sure their photo was taken beneath the Colas 6S Plant Certification – Bronze Level sign. They are very proud of their facility, and should be!

We then visited the Colas 6S Gold Level Shop with Shop Manager Tony Shafer and crew. (Tony likes to have the shop referred to that way!) Quality Control Manager Daryl Masingale, Missouri Quality Control Manager Shannon Sinn, and the Missouri Quality Control team crew joined in the safety conversation. The meeting was halted momentarily while Mechanic Gary McIntyre removed a wooden pallet from the area to eliminate a tripping hazard. He certainly exercised the saying: “See something. Say something.”

A hearty lunch was enjoyed during the visit to the SEMO Quarry thanks to Quarry Manager Terry Everly and Foreman Jake Sullivan. We also enjoyed a safe “Hot Works” demonstration by Ricardo Berkbigler and Justin Collins. (Ricardo proclaimed that Justin was such a good welder that he could repair a broken heart.)

After a short drive down to New Madrid, Missouri, we watched the Colas-provided video and had a good discussion regarding addictions with the crew at our Heartland Asphalt Materials Terminal. Terminal Manager Kevin Faulkner and the crew were presented with the Colas USA Safety Vanguard 2.0 Award for 2017. That makes seven years in a row!

Tuesday, June 26

On Tuesday morning, we met with Joe Colbert and Derrick Schatte’s Missouri construction crews and Aaron Anderson’s crew at the portable HMA Plant in Hayti, Missouri. We heard stories from Human Resources Manager Phil Heimbecker and former Delta Safety Steering Team member Penny Compas about how people with alcohol issues had personally impacted their lives.

We then drove through an intense rain storm to the Southern Illinois Stone Company quarry in Goreville, Illinois. Following a safety quiz regarding alcohol addiction, we enjoyed lunch with the crew. But the crew had something to share with us. Quarry Manager Rodney Lingle introduced Kevin Gibson and Jesse Terbrak, who gave a very thorough demonstration of the proper procedure for “Hot Work,” such as welding. While at the facility, Delta President Zach Green had the pleasure of issuing safety coins to recent hires Jason Jenkins, Jordan Gearing, and Deanna Morris. He reminded the crew here, as he did at each of our visits, that our safety coin contains two messages – on one side it states “Safety / Our Way of Life” and on the other side it displays “The people you work for are waiting for you at home.”

Wednesday, June 27

Wednesday morning found us with the crews of ASA Asphalt in Advance, Missouri, including supervisors Chuck Nenninger, Kenny Carlton, and Jason Fowler. The safety message was the same as at the other facilities; however, the delivery was exceptional. Construction Manager Brandon Machen added his own personal flair to the delivery by installing a large screen TV in the rear of his vehicle and using a wireless remote speaker. (Popcorn not included, but he did bring doughnuts!)

We then traveled to Spring Park in Searcy, Arkansas to meet with the crews working in the Searcy and Clinton areas, including supervisors Chris Allen, Clint Clark, and Shane Moody. Regional Manager John Bennett welcomed approximately 60 employees to the event and then discussed the various addictions. Plants and Quarry Manager Artie Cousins shared a personal story regarding tobacco addiction. Construction Manager Brad Marotti shocked the crowd by “telling on himself,” saying he spent a lot of time on his cell phone. (Actually, it came as no surprise to anyone.) He is currently using an app called “Moment” to help him curb his appetite. The app is free and tracks the number of times you pick up your cell phone and how much screen time you use on a daily basis.

Thursday, June 28

On Thursday morning, Regional Manager Steve Peterson and Construction Manager Brandon Machen met with our construction crews in Illinois, including Chad Phillips, Illinois Quality Control Manager Jason Davis, and HMA Plant Crew Leader Benny Klebba at the HMA Plant in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

The senior management team traveled once again to Arkansas, this time to Reynolds Park in Paragould to meet with the rest of the Delta Asphalt of Arkansas group. This included the crews of Don Brumley (Luxora HMA Plant), Andy West (Paragould HMA Plant), and the construction crews of David Chastain, Sid Binkley, and Wade Murray. EHS Manager Bruce Menke described the relationship between “leading indicators” and “lagging indicators.” As leading indicators increase in quantity and quality, lagging indicators decrease. Leading indicators are pro-active safety activities, such as Safety Meetings, New Hire orientations, SHIELDS, SOPs, and inspections. Lagging indicators are historical data, including Recordable Injuries, Lost Time Injuries, Lost Time Days, etc.

Friday, June 29

On Friday, we drove to our Sand and Gravel facility in Dexter, Missouri. We joined in the crew’s very active Safety Meeting led by new hire Kole Whitlock and Site Supervisor Mike Triplett. Operator Bill Hood was Delta’s first Safety Guardian, dating back to 2012. His “congratulations” banner still hangs on the wall. After taking the traditional photo, the crew had a little something extra for us – the “Safety Spirit” cheer – “We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, how about you?” (It is a not to be missed video, hope you caught it!)

Our last visit of the week was to the Williamsville Quarry, just outside Poplar Bluff, Missouri. There were no “safety spirit” cheers here; however, the safety conversation was certainly spirited with a lot of input from the crew. Quarry Foreman Jeremy Boshell conducted a training session on the “Hot Work Permit” process. Regional Manager Steve Peterson demonstrated in a clear manner the impact of just two glasses of alcohol on a person’s field of vision – from 180 degrees to only 60 degrees!

Employee Assistance Program

The employees of Colas USA are reminded that Employee Assistance Programs (EPAs) have been found to be highly effective resources for addressing addictions. EAP programs encourage and support addiction treatment and recovery through confidential assessments, short-term counseling, and resource referrals. Help is within reach. Please contact REACH at or (800) 950-3434.

We wish to thank all the managers, supervisors, and employees for participating in the week’s activities.

We recognize that Colas Safety Awareness Week is only one week out of the year and that National Safety Month is only one month out of the year. That’s OK! However, we know that here at the Delta Companies, every month is safety month, every week is safety week, and every day is safety day!

Because safety is our way of life.


Below are photos taken during Colas Safety Awareness Week at each facility.

SEMO Quarry in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Portable HMA Plant in Hayti, MO.

HMA Plant in Mt. Vernon, IL.

Missouri Shop in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Regional Office in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Heartland Asphalt Materials Terminal in New Madrid, MO.

HMA Plant in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Williamsville Quarry near Poplar Bluff, MO.

Delta Asphalt of Arkansas crews from the Searcy and Clinton, AR areas.

Delta Asphalt of Arkansas crews from Luxora and Paragould, AR areas.

Sand & Gravel facility in Dexter, MO.

ASA Asphalt crews at HMA Plant in Advance, MO.

SIS Quarry in Goreville, IL.

Heartland Materials Quarry in Jackson, MO.

Delta Companies Inc. Corporate Office in Cape Girardeau, MO.

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The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) held its Professional Development Conference and Exposition, known as “Safety2018,” in San Antonio, Texas. The Conference is dedicated to helping safety professionals grow through education, networking, and advocacy. Throughout the Safety2018, attendees were encouraged to participate, listen, share, and engage with their peers from across the world.


The three-day event, in early June, was attended by more than 7,000 safety professionals. The exhibit hall contained over 650 booths displaying personal protective equipment, safety equipment, traffic control devices, software, training resources, and consulting firms.


The temperature in San Antonio reached the triple digits every day; however, it was nice and cool inside the class rooms and meeting halls. Learning activities were available throughout the entire day, beginning at 7:30 am and concluding around 5:30 pm. Each day included General Sessions and Concurrent Educational Sessions. Attendees had more than 250 individual sessions from which to choose to learn about Business Skills & Personal Development, Construction, Emergency Management/Security, Environment/Hazardous Material, Ergonomics, Fire Protection, Healthcare/Wellness, Human Behavior, Industrial Hygiene/Health, Oil Gas/Mining & Mineral Resources, Regulatory Issues/Government/Public Sector, Risk Assessment, Risk Management/Insurance, Safety Management, Sustainability/Human Capital, Technical/Engineering/Standards, Training/Education, Transportation, etc.


There were also 37 Flash Sessions available throughout the Exhibit Hall. A Flash Session is a fast-paced (15 minutes) educational opportunity for speakers to share innovative approaches, observations, and insights to find meaningful solutions to the problems facing safety professionals today.


The Delta Companies Inc. had two representatives in attendance this year: Justin Counce, Regional EHS Coordinator for Arkansas, and Don Rosenbarger, Business Development Manager. Both agreed that this is one of the best conferences they have attended due to the vast array of educational sessions available.


The Conference provided opportunities for attendees to “get social.” There were numerous social learning stations, including the ASSP Lounge, Game Station, Relaxation Station, Safety Escape Room, Safety Saves Station, and the Marketplace.


One of the best attended General Sessions was titled: “The Before and After Summit: A Safety Professional’s Guide to Prepare for, React to, and Address Workplace Violence Events.” When one of the speakers asked the crowd how many had a personal experience with violence in the workplace, it was terrifying and sad to see more than fifty-percent of those in attendance raised their hands.


The following are remarks from a few of the many speakers during Safety2018:

  • Polly LaBarre: “Walk in stupid. Ask more questions than you give answers.”
  • Jenny Krasny: “When stressed, the brain is deprived of oxygen, so it cannot make rational decisions.”
  • Scott Geller: “Be a success seeker, instead of a failure avoider.”
  • Paul Esposito: “Every non-conformance is a near-miss.”
  • Ryan Estis: “Be a future-maker. Hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable.”
  • Richard Pollock: “Teach your workers the risk, not the hazard.”

Justin summed up his take-away from the Conference this way: "Leaders lead people, not concepts or ideas. We must remember the concepts and ideas we adopt are only as good as the people we have leading them."


Continuous improvement of our people is critical to the success of our journey to safety culture excellence. Conferences, such as Safety2018, provide opportunities for learning and growing.


Learn more about the American Society of Safety Professionals (available training materials, events, upcoming webinars, and other resources) and next year’s Conference (June 9-12) by visiting

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Tina Johnson, an accounting clerk in our Shared Services Department, was the leader of a recent Safety Meeting at our Corporate Office. The topic she shared was "Ten Rules To Preserve Ten Fingers." 

Here are the 10 rules to help protect your 10 fingers.

  1. Beware of pinch points. Train yourself to recognize pinch pints and avoid placing your hands and fingers in such hazardous spots.
  2. Expect the expected. When using wrenches and other hand tools, with which you expect resistance, anticipate that the tool might slip or the object to which pressure is being applied may suddenly give way.
  3. Inspect tools. Check to see if they are in good condition and safe to use.
  4. Do not work on moving equipment. If the equipment can be stopped, do so. Working on moving equipment presents a real threat to hands and fingers.
  5. Replace machine guards following repairs that require removal of guards. The presence of machine guards is an important factor in keeping hands and fingers out of dangerous areas.
  6. Be mindful of equipment that starts automatically. Never work on such equipment without first eliminating the possibility of automatic startup.
  7. De-energize electrical equipment prior to working on it. Flash burns caused by electrical equipment shorting out is a threat to hands and fingers when work around such equipment is being performed.
  8. Be mindful when closing doors. Keep hands and fingers clear. Also, watch for children’s fingers in the family car.
  9. Avoid touching lines or equipment that is hot. Every hot line or hot piece of equipment is a potential source of painful injury to any hand or finger that comes in contact with it.
  10. If the work being performed requires gloves, use them. Gloves offer protection from sharp objects, wood and metal splinters, acids, electrical burns, chemicals, and many other sources of injury.

Tina plays the clarinet in the Cape Girardeau Municipal Band, Centenary United Methodist Church, and other local venues. She stressed how important it was for her, as a clarinetist, to have all ten of her fingers. She mused that a trumpet player only needs three and a trombone player less than that.

She downloaded the basics of this talk from the Safety Toolbox Topics website ( Safety Toolbox Talks was started in 2007 as a portal for safety professionals to share and exchange free safety topic resources . . . specifically Toolbox Topics, Toolbox Talks and other free safety resources.

Thanks to Tina for leading the Safety Meeting and sharing these safety tips!

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Increasing RAP contents and improving performance

By: Todd Thomas, P.E., Field Services Engineer, Colas Solutions, Inc.

 In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in raising the amount of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in mixtures. Several state agencies in the U.S. are looking into higher RAP contents in their surface mixes, and the use of rejuvenators is making that possible.

 RAP is a valuable component in hot mix asphalt (HMA). It decreases the demand for new aggregate and new binder, making its use more environmentally friendly.

The aggregate and aged asphalt binder in RAP add value when incorporated into a new mix. However, the binder in the RAP is stiff and less ductile, normally making it more prone to cracking when used in high amounts in a new mix. The aged RAP has a binder that is low in oily maltenes and high in very stiff asphaltenes. Rejuvenators help restore the aged binder to similar properties of a new binder.

In September of 2016, Barrett Paving performed a trial at its Newtown, Ohio plant to compare a mixture with 35 percent RAP to one with 45 percent RAP plus a rejuvenator. The rejuvenator was added in-line to the liquid asphalt at the hot mix plant, and this particular rejuvenator was a plant-based product. The mixture was paved on Bethel-New Richmond Road in Clermont County, OH.

Extensive testing was performed on the two mixes that were paved. For paving and compaction, feedback was that the workability was better for the mix with rejuvenator, although it had ten percent more RAP. Density was also improved with the rejuvenated mix by two percent compaction.

Plant-produced sampling was done of both mixtures for laboratory testing. Rut testing was performed to determine that the mixture was not over-softened by the rejuvenator. Low-temperature cracking was performed to determine if the higher RAP content had a negative effect. Moisture susceptibility testing was also performed. Finally, binder testing was performed.

The Asphalt Pavement Analyzer (APA) was used for the rutting test with conditions of 64°C, 100 pound wheel load, and 100 psi hose pressure. Results show that the high-RAP mix with rejuvenator had slightly less rutting than the control mix.

The disc-shaped compact tension test (DCT) was used to determine the cold temperature properties of the two mixes. Results show statistically equivalent results between the two mixes.

Tensile strength ratio testing showed that the two mixes have the same value of 95%, though the high-RAP mix had slightly better strengths.

Asphalt testing from the binders recovered from the two mixtures showed similar results, with the control 35 percent RAP mix with a continuous grading of PG 75.1-25.8 and the 45 percent RAP mix plus rejuvenator with a grading of PG 76.8-25.2.

The trial section was observed during the second winter and had equivalent performance as the normal-RAP section, as observed in the pictures; the higher-RAP section is on the left and normal-RAP content is on the right.

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