Paving the way for a safe, successful 2024 season

Colorado Asphalt and paving teams gather to strengthen safety and prepare for the year ahead.

It’s that time of year again: the snow starts to melt, flowers bloom and the fresh smell of asphalt fills the air. 

But, before winter ends and a new paving season begins, Martin Marietta’s West Division had to first gather its Colorado asphalt and paving teams for back-to-work welcome sessions. 

The sessions reinforced safety best practices, offered general updates for the upcoming season and provided an opportunity for all business and office staff to step into another successful season as ONE Team, said West Division HR Representative Keri Cook.

 “We look forward to it every year because it’s one of the few times during the season when everyone has a chance to get together and reconnect,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to refresh our minds about the importance of being Good Wingmen and reaffirm our commitment to safety, integrity and excellence.” 

The sessions, which started on March 12, also provided in-depth ethics training, refreshers on sustainability practices and a general review of the many health and well-being resources available to members of the Martin Marietta team. 

Safety training was also a top priority and a topic that was discussed throughout the week. 

“In previous years, the back-to-work meetings consisted of a single, 8-hour training day. However, there has been a growing interest in more extensive safety training,” said West Division Safety Director JR Manrique. “In response, we decided to expand the duration of the sessions this year to introduce more hands on training.” 

Manrique explained that the extended training sessions now last 12-24 hours in total, depending on the position. Each lesson was led by asphalt and paving instructors who covered pre-operational inspections and safety protocols for equipment such as pavers, rollers, loaders and skid steers. Additionally, third-party instructors provided hands-on training in fire suppression, ergonomics and underground utilities. 

The extensive sessions gave the employees tools to help them throughout the new paving season, Manrique said. 

Along with Martin Marietta’s safety rules, team members also received a refresher on first aid and CPR and were provided information about mental health in the industry. 

One session participant, Colorado Metro Area QC Quality Control Leadperson Robert Maldonado, said the review of Martin Marietta’s safety standards is always something he values. 

“It’s a great tool for everyone because most of our teams take a break from December to March, so when we return, these sessions help us get back into the groove,” he said. “It reminds us how to be safe and why it’s important while encouraging everyone to be vigilant.” 

And while training and preparation were a major component of the back-to-work sessions, they also allowed the asphalt and paving teams to gather and celebrate their many achievements. Throughout the meetings, teams cheered as different Martin Marietta crews announced their recent awards from the National Asphalt Pavement Association and the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association as well as an award from the Colorado Contractors Association for ZERO lost-time incidents during 1.2 million hours worked. 

“These meetings embrace the Martin Marietta culture of inclusivity by recognizing our asphalt and paving colleagues for their hard work and dedication over the past year,” Cook said. “The time also allows us to look ahead to important company and district initiatives that will draw our attention in the coming year.” 

Prepared with all the tools for a safe and successful campaign, asphalt and paving teams were refreshed and ready to hit the Colorado road running. 

“This is just the beginning,” Manrique said. “We are already exploring ways to enhance training and make it even more valuable for our employees moving forward.