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S04 - Opening & Closing A Site

Every year we hear about accidents and fatalities on disused premises in the UK. The quarrying industry has had a particularly sad record over recent years. The MPA have the ‘Play safe Stay safe’ campaign that along with this procedure will help you manage the risk associated with closed sites. This procedure focuses on what needs to be undertaken as the site is closing.

There are inspection checklists for closing a site and checks to be completed routinely once the site has closed.

There is also guidance on what to consider when first opening a site for production.

What is this?
This is a written procedure which covers the main aspects of opening and closing a site and inspecting a closed site. The MPA’s ‘Play safe Stay safe’ campaign and learning aids should be reviewed alongside this procedure. A PDF of the procedure is available to download (see attached), please use it in conjunction with the attached Checklists.

Opening a site

What does the senior manager or director need to do?
The senior manager or director must:

  • Establish a management structure and appoint, in writing, a responsible manager.
  • Where appropriate, notify the enforcing authority that the site is to be opened.

What does the responsible manager need to do?

The responsible manager must:

  • Review all available information about the plant and site.
  • Ensure that a thorough site and plant inspection are undertaken.
  • Ensure an initial full site risk assessment is carried out.
  • Ensure that following the full site full risk assessment, task specific risk assessments are carried out and safe systems of work are prepared.
  • Ensure emergency procedures are prepared and are in place before work commences.
  • Ensure there are suitable welfare facilities available.
  • Plan and organise work identified as necessary to ensure the site and plant are safe places to work, and there is safe means of access and egress.
  • Ensure all contractors selected to work on-site are fully inducted, competent and controlled.
  • Ensure all plant and equipment, whether hired or owned, is in a safe and serviceable condition before it is used.
  • Ensure the workforce, whether employed or contracted, are competent to carry out their duties and they are trained in site specific requirements.
  • Ensure that all electrical and pressure systems and lifting equipment is inspected and tested by a competent person, and the systems are safe and serviceable before use.
  • Ensure the site is secure against trespass and the plant and equipment is protected from unauthorised start-up.
  • Ensure that any further requirements of the health and safety management system are implemented.

Closed sites

Closed sites can present a significant hazard if they are not properly controlled and managed.

What does the senior manager or director need to do?

The senior manager or director must:

  • Appoint a responsible manager for each closed site.
  • Where appropriate, notify the enforcing authority that the site has closed.
  • Ensure a risk assessment is undertaken to close a site and ensure the site is routinely inspected.

What does the responsible manager need to do?

For each closed site that he/she has responsibility for, the responsible manager will:

  • Carry out a risk assessment on the site.
  • Determine an appropriate interval for site inspections.
  • Carry out site inspections and prepare appropriate reports.
  • Ensure that the risk assessment is updated as necessary.
  • Ensure that everything is done to minimise trespass by being proactive in the local community. (Consider the QPA’s Play safe Stay safe initiative. Contact 0207 963 8000.)
  • Ensure that any further controls identified as necessary are implemented or brought to the attention of the responsible director for a decision on implementation.

What should be considered in a closed site risk assessment?

Items to consider as part of a risk assessment:

  • The presence of water;
  • The condition of fencing gates and signs;
  • The proximity of schools or housing estates and the history of trespass;
  • Vehicle accessibility – Especially in relation to the ambulance, police and fire services; and
  • The inspection frequency – Remember it may be greater during school and summer holidays.

What should be considered in a closed site inspection checklist?

The following should be considered:

  • The condition of faces, water/lagoons and silt ponds and tips;
  • The condition of gates and fences;
  • The condition of notices and signage;
  • The condition of any buildings or structures;
  • Any evidence of public access;
  • The need for any control measures; and
  • The proposed date for the next inspection.

Note: The report should be signed and countersigned by the management team.

Legislation

The following documentation is associated with this procedure:

  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety Regulations
  • The Quarries Regulations 1999

Associated documentation

  • Closing a site inspection checklist
  • A closed site inspection checklist

This workplace procedure forms part of a Health & Safety Risk Management System for employers in the quarrying industry. The procedures, which cover a wide range of workplace risks and hazards, can be viewed here

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