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Monthly bulletin: Midlands

Midlands branch health and safety conference

Championing safety in the minerals extractive sector through continuing professional development (CPD), the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) recently organised a Health and Safety Conference for its Midlands-based members.

Almost 50 IQ members attended the event at the National Conference Centre, in Solihull. With the ever-increasing complexity of demands that health and safety places on the quarrying industry, the well-planned agenda was packed with presentations from industry professionals.

Following registration and coffee, IQ CEO, James Thorne, welcomed the attendees to the first Health and Safety Conference centred on the IQ Midlands branch area. The theme mirrored several similar subject areas covered in the popular branch-led health and safety conferences undertaken by the Derbyshire & Yorkshire branch.

The first speaker was Cath Pickett FIQ, HSE Inspector. She covered the key Inspectorate drivers for 2019 with particular reference to RIDDOR, welding fume, geotechnical issues, performance scoring and QNJAC advice. She also covered several case studies bringing another angle to the presentation.

The next speaker Julian Smallshaw FIQ, Head of Education and Standards (IQ) presented ‘Empowering People through Great Leadership’. Commencing with a personal perspective, he spoke about the need to empower people and how this can benefit organisations. He highlighted the need to push soft skills training and rounded up with a new IQ initiative focused on mentoring for the wider industry.

After a break for coffee, Andy Meadows FIQ, Group Engineering Manager at Longcliffe Quarries, presented on ‘Electrical Safety for Non-Managers’. He presented in-depth the key regulatory requirements covering subjects such as cabinet construction, maintenance, testing, safe working, environments, insulation, live working, isolation and the question of competence.

The penultimate presentation before lunch was Andy Airey, from JSP, who used video and practical demonstrations to explain the need for professional advice when dealing with RPE on site. He highlighted the importance of the correct choice and fit of PPE, particularly when dealing with dust and welding fume.

Following lunch, Paul Joel MIQ, Head of Geology at Tarmac represented the QNJAC Geotechnical Subgroup. He gave an extremely informative presentation on the work that this subgroup has been undertaking recently, along with guidance that is currently available. Some of the key subjects covered were Excavations and Tips, Reg 32 Appraisal, Significant Hazards and Geotechnical Assessments.

The last presenter was Alan Millband, Partner from Howes Percival LLP. Alan outlined the recent work he had done with the Institute of Quarrying in order to rewrite the IQ Health and Safety Law Book, with the most recent case law. He brought some humour to the subject and reflected on the main legal issues of note within the industry.

James Thorne closed the conference by summing up the day’s presentation highlights. He says: “This is the first-ever Midlands Health and Safety Day and we’re delighted with the positive feedback received from attendees. We’re now looking to make this a regular event for our Midlands-based members. We strongly believe in the importance of CPD. Events like this are valuable for industry professionals to stay up to date on subject matters relating to health and safety.”

About IQ Midlands

For any queries about the Midlands branch please contact the IQ office on 0115 972 9995 or [email protected].

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