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MPA Health & Safety Conference and Awards

Association highlights competence as critical at its 2011 Health & Safety Conference and Awards

THE Mineral Products Association’s prestigious Health and Safety Conference and Awards took place earlier this week (Tuesday 15 November) at BAFTA, London, to celebrate and share outstanding examples of best practice by MPA members, in order to inspire and help the industry to achieve the highest standards in health and safety.

Overall, the Awards attracted 126 entries from 28 companies, the highest level of participation ever and up on 2010’s record level. An increasing proportion of submissions were provided by companies with less than 1,000 direct employees, also the highest ever, and a record turn out of 220 delegates attended on the day.

There was a new dimension to the event this year, with a morning conference preceding the afternoon awards ceremony. The conference focused on: ‘competence’, where the quarrying industry is recognized to be leading other comparable industries; further improving control of contractors; and maximizing the industry’s ability to protect workers with regard to occupational health issues.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘Health and safety is an absolute priority for the MPA and these awards play a key part in helping our industry to achieve its overall goal of Zero Harm by sharing new ideas and fresh thinking.

‘The MPA recognizes that competence is a key element of health and safety and, as a result, our members developed, recently approved and have now adopted ‘Safer by Competence’ as a key MPA policy.

‘This new policy aims to develop a fully competency-assured workforce and enable members to demonstrate they have achieved this, through meeting the relevant national occupational standards. ‘Safer by Competence’ will support members in reaching the goal of a ‘fully competent workforce’.’

The afternoon Awards presentation moved from the broader issues to look at members’ practical and cutting-edge approach to understanding and tackling health and safety challenges. The two overall winners of this year’s independently judged MPA Health and Safety awards were Singleton Birch Ltd, who won the Sir Frank Davies Trophy for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, and John Wainwright and Co. Ltd, who won the John Crabbe Memorial Trophy (pictured) for outstanding excellence in health and safety.

Steve Granger, immediate past-president of the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety, who was the principal guest at the event, said: ‘It is a pleasure to be invited to witness such a positive approach and improvements to health and safety in a traditionally hazardous industry. The winners and all who took part clearly understand that when it comes down to business success, workplace health and safety is a ‘must have’.

‘Judging the John Crabbe Trophy required companies to show they had a clear understanding of the most common problems in the industry. It is really good to see innovation from the workforce and support from management come together so clearly and yield such positive health and safety improvements.

‘I look forward to the MPA Awards as they showcase that health and safety at work in the mineral products environment is improving year on year and help to bust the myth that health and safety stifles businesses.’

Many outstanding examples of industry best practice and innovation in health and safety were showcased at the Awards, which were judged across seven categories: Bitumen, asphalt, contract surfacing: Promoting safer behaviour; Contractors’ safety; Engineering initiatives; Leadership, training and management systems initiative; LGVs and all company vehicles; Driver safety/public safety; Occupational good health; and Worker involvement.

In addition, two Special Awards were presented and 20 named individuals were recognized for ‘going the extra mile’ in furthering the cause of health and safety.


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