As the holiday season has begun, I find myself reflecting beyond my personal friends and family, outward to our employees, client, suppliers and the incidents we have experienced this year.  I focused on a few predominant events — analyzing root causes, corrective actions and our overall response. One such event that I have focused on in both executive leadership discussions and field leadership training was a primer spill in West Chicago, Illinois.

One of our employees was traveling across North Avenue through an intersection, and the towed primer trailer experienced a catastrophic mechanical failure.  The failure resulted in the trailer tongue separating from the frame, allowing the trailer to roll and spilling primer onto the westbound lanes of North Avenue.  There were no injuries or public involvement beyond blocked traffic and a few cars driving through the lost material.  In response, our onsite employee and his nearby project manager blocked traffic, deployed traffic control measures and spill kits to control runoff. Our operations coordinator reached out to your VP of Operations, Todd Bringle, to inquire if Prime, Tack & Seal Co. could assist by providing a sand truck. Todd had a truck out spreading sand within 10 minutes of our request.

The primer was contained to the roadway, and did not permit the shoulder or storm water system. This was due, in a big part, to the assistance from Prime, Tack & Seal Company.  The sand solidified the material with no long-term impact to the roadway, environment or general public. Nor were there any remediation requirements requested from the Illinois EPA.

As stated, I have used this event as a focal point in training and leadership discussions. As a company, we have experienced an EPA regulated primer spill with remediation costs over $50,000. Due to the swift actions of our employees and the assistance provided by your team, we experienced no significant loss or long-term project impact.

On behalf of Rabine Paving and the Rabine Group, I would like to express my gratitude for the assistance provided in the aforementioned event, as well as for the support consistently provided to our paving operations as a dependable and valued supplier. Your assistance allowed us to minimize the impact of this spill event to the environment, public safety and, ultimately, to our business.


David Deplaris
Safety Director
Rabine Paving and The Rabine Group