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BAA Assessment Scheme five years on

Eric Darlow and Richard Bird

Scheme for assessing operating standards within members’ operations gaining momentum

IT is now just over five years since the British Aggregates Association (BAA) first launched its scheme for assessing operating standards within members’ operations. The first certificate was issued in September 2007 and, despite an initial slow take-up by members, applications to join the scheme are gaining momentum, with well over half the membership of the Association now involved with the scheme.

At a recent meeting of the Assessment Panel, chaired by Eric Darlow (retired Head of both HM Inspectorate of Quarries and of the Quarries National Interest Group), certificates were awarded to Creeton Quarry of the Johnston Quarry Group as well as to the Huntsmans Quarries Ltd. Five more quarries are to be considered for certification in the coming months and a further three operations were assessed during December 2012.

According to the BAA, the scheme has made great strides in raising operating standards with certain independent operators who would still be floundering had it not been for the Assessment Scheme.

The scheme itself involves a detailed assessment of the member’s operation, which takes between one and three days to conduct. These assessments are carried out by consultants appointed by the BAA Scheme for Operating Standards Panel, who are all registered with the HSE’s Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

In addition to Eric Darlow (left of photo), the panel consists of three representatives from member companies. Currently, these are: Steve Cole, environmental & development director with Raymond Brown Minerals & Recycling Ltd; Geraint Morris, health & safety manager with Frimstone Ltd; and newly appointed Chris Wainwright, production director with Longcliffe Quarries Ltd. The BAA is represented on the panel by its executive officer, Richard Bird (right of photo), as well as Murray Alston who is the panel secretary.

The panel normally meets twice a year but with the current increased activity of the scheme this may have to be increased. The most recent meeting was held at the brand new office complex of the Cullimore Group in Whitminster, Gloucestershire.

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