Quarrymen turn gardeners with site veggie patch
Featured in31 May 2012 - 18:15
Green-fingered Lafarge workers create on-site allotment as part of company’s H&S awareness initiative
PEAS, beans, carrots and spuds are now joining sand and gravel as prime products emerging from Marfield Quarry, in Yorkshire, after green-fingered workers at the Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK site created an on-site allotment to grow their own vegetables.
The idea came from multi-unit manager Jon Merchant as part of a company-wide scheme to raise awareness and standards in health and safety.
Mr Merchant, who oversees Marfield and Methley quarries and Whitwood Wharf, said: ‘We are taking part in a company initiative called Going for Gold, which aims to ensure health and safety is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and site standards are continually improved.
‘A few of us were chatting about some of the targets we had coming up under the banner ‘Raising the Bar’, which encourages sites to go that one step further and do something extra special. In an off-the-cuff remark I suggested we have our own allotment and it has just snowballed from there.’
Keen gardeners among the workforce took Mr Merchant’s suggestion on board and turned a patch of ground near the quarry’s metal and wood recycling area into an allotment plot. Now the space is full of vegetables including potatoes, carrots, peas, broad beans, onions and herbs.
Workers take it in turns to tend the plot daily, watering, weeding and ensuring all is well. They also wear pedometers so that their activity is recorded and they can aim towards the 10,000 steps a day the government recommends for good health.
Mr Merchant added: ‘I’m really proud of what the guys have done. For Lafarge, health and safety is a number one priority. But health and safety is as much about being physically and mentally fit as it is about keeping the site hazard free.
‘The allotment is brilliant because it’s not only providing fresh vegetables for good nutrition, but also encouraging the guys to be extra active. I’m delighted my off-the-cuff remark has been taken on board and is proving so successful.’