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MPA Health & Safety Conference and Awards 2014

MPA's Health & Safety Awards 2014

Successful event shines a light on reducing harm through leadership and workforce engagement

THE Mineral Products Association’s Health & Safety Conference and Awards 2014 took place on Tuesday (4 November) at the new location of 30 Euston Square, London, bringing together more than 70 organizations, including members, contractors and other key stakeholders from the length and breadth of the UK, to celebrate commitment, progress and achievement in health and safety and share best practice.

The theme this year was ‘Reducing Harm through Leadership & Workforce Engagement’.


Overall, the prestigious Awards attracted 150 entries from 37 different organizations, with 50% of submissions provided by companies with less than 1,000 direct employees. A full-house of 300 delegates filled this year’s impressive, larger-capacity auditorium and the event was sold out well advance.

BBC News presenter Julian Worricker hosted proceedings, with keynote speakers from the Royal Air Force, the 2012 London Olympics delivery team, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and Transport for London (TfL).

Two interactive panel sessions also featured. The first looked at ‘Health & Safety Leadership is...?’ and kicked off with an innovative theatre-based concept where actors presented a scene to highlight what comprises good and bad leadership, which fed into the subsequent panel discussion. The second panel session focused on ‘An Engaged Workforce is...?’ with questions and answers generating good debate.

The new ‘Safequarry’ app was also launched at the event – the industry’s first health and safety app. Over recent years the website has made a huge impact across the mineral products industry and beyond (112 countries worldwide).

Although it is packed with vital information and opportunities for learning and sharing to prevent injury and ill health, it does not always reach the people who might benefit most – those who work, sometimes literally, at the industry’s rock face. The MPA’s new ‘Safequarry’ app will change this by reaching out to the many who have switched on to mobile devices for web browsing.

Tom Mullarkey MBE, chief executive of RoSPA and keynote speaker, said: ‘Organizations such as the Mineral Products Association are a wellspring of good safety practice and ideas, at the same time as our wider society is being crushed under the burden of accidental injury – as seen by the overpressure on A&E.

‘We need a fresh approach – a new vision for health and safety – to utilize our excellent skills in tackling this new challenge, re-energizing health and safety and engaging the full potential of our workforce in helping their families, communities and society to live safer and healthier lives. In addition to the clear societal benefits, this will also bring enormous social, practical and financial benefits to the organisations themselves.’

Kevin Furniss, another keynote speaker and a key strategic member of the team that oversaw the construction programme for the 2012 London Olympics, began his career in the minerals extraction industry with Mansfield Sand. He said: ‘Nearly 30 years ago my own work and safety journey began in the minerals extraction industry; I feel really proud and humbled that the MPA asked me to speak at this year’s Health & Safety Conference on leadership and employee engagement.

‘For me, these two areas are super-critical when it comes to reducing operational risk and, therefore, the potential for harm. If I could only ever ask a leader to do one thing to keep people safe at work, it would be to engage with their teams and inspire those emotional connections in people that ultimately change their thinking on safety from ‘I need to, to I want to’.’

In her keynote address, Mandy Hickson, one of the first female pilots to serve in a frontline Tornado GR4 squadron, gave a vivid insight into the leadership, teamwork and communication required to define and then realize specific goals in high-pressure situations.

She said: ‘The key theme of reducing harm through strong, proactive leadership and team engagement could not resonate more with the aims of the military and particularly aviation, where we actively encourage, celebrate and share our experiences, with the intention that everyone can learn from the ‘bottom of the iceberg’ events. This can only happen if a ‘Just Culture’ exists, where everyone is engaged and trusts in the leadership of the organization.’

Ian Wainwright, head of freight and fleet at TfL, said: ‘These awards mark 18 months since the origin of the Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety Programme (CLOCS), and the industry’s desire to achieve real change has been fantastic. The MPA and its members have been critical to the success of CLOCS and their commitment to road safety is highly commendable.’

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘This event is absolutely critical to the MPA and its members. It is an annual fixture that never fails to impress, enlighten and inform delegates of the best health and safety innovations and bright ideas which are being adopted by the industry.

‘I am very glad that more delegates have attended this year than we have ever had before and to have attracted a very high number of entries to the Awards, with a selection of exceptional winners.

‘The MPA is committed to achieving Zero Harm and we have set a further challenging five-year integrated lost-time injury frequency rate target of 65% reduction, following our success in 2013. The theme of ‘Reducing Harm through Leadership & Workforce Engagement’ is a key focus for us as we drive towards this target.’

The afternoon awards ceremony showcased members’ cutting-edge approach to understanding and tackling health and safety challenges in ways that are helpful to the whole industry.

The winners of this year’s independently judged MPA Health and Safety awards are shown below. A new category was added this year – ‘Reducing Occupational Road Risk’, sponsored by TfL.

  • The Sir Frank Davies Trophy for companies with less than 1,000 employees: Winner - Kilwaughter Chemical Company Ltd
  • John Crabbe Memorial Trophy for overall ‘outstanding excellence in health and safety’: Winner - Hope Construction Materials
  • Bitumen; Asphalt; Contract Surfacing: Winner - Lafarge Tarmac
  • Behavioural Safety; Safety Culture; Leadership: Winner - Lafarge Tarmac
  • Contractor Safety: Winner - CEMEX UK
  • Engineering Initiatives: Winner - Lafarge Tarmac
  • Occupational Health and Well-Being: Winner - Quarries Partnership Team (QPT)
  • Reducing Occupational Road Risk: Winner - Lafarge Tarmac
  • Transport Initiatives: Winner - Brett Group
  • Worker Involvement: Winner - Hanson UK
  • MPA Special Award for companies with less than 100 employees: Winner - Albion Stone
  • MPA Special Award for companies with 100 to 1,000 employees: Winner - Singleton Birch
  • Nineteen named individuals were recognized for ‘going the extra mile’ in furthering the cause of health and safety.

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