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MPA urges members to be alert as temperatures soar

Charlie Crow

Mineral Products Association reminds operators to check fencing, signage, safety devices and security arrangements

THE potent combination of hot weather and summer holidays has already led to a spate of inland water drownings and warnings from the emergency services about the dangers of playing or swimming in rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

With record temperatures forecast this week, many young people will be looking for places to cool off and have some fun. Sadly, the statistics show that these are the conditions when the industry is most likely to experience trespass and fatalities at both active and disused sites.

As part of its on-going Stay Safe campaign, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) has been reminding operators of the importance of checking their fencing, signage, safety devices and security arrangements at both operational and non-operational sites.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive officer of the MPA, said: ‘Whilst the hot weather and school holidays are a time for fun and relaxing with the family, I always dread hearing reports of a young man or child missing in an active or, most frequently, a disused quarry lake.

‘I know the devastating impact this will have on the family involved and all those associated with the site, whether operational or disused. The MPA believes that being diligent about public safety on sites in members’ control and educating the public about the wider and general hazards associated with open water is the best way to prevent this needless loss of life.

‘We want people to enjoy water-based activities but be able to understand where it is safe to do so. Drowning prevention is best achieved working in collaboration with other agencies such as the emergency services, RLSS, RoSPA and the RNLI, and the MPA fully supports their campaigns.’

As part of its contribution to help educate the public, the MPA issued a ‘Letter to Editors’ of newspapers and online media throughout Scotland, England and Wales at the beginning of the week.

The Association has also teamed up with Fun Kids, the national children’s digital radio station in the UK (plus web and mobile) to broadcast daily warning messages to its listeners and sponsor a competition, and would like industry employees to share the following link with family and friends: https://www.funkidslive.com/podcast/charlie-crows-quarry-safety/

The MPA is also encouraging employers to share the link to the RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water’ website with their staff. The videos and safety messages highlight how the ability to float can be a live-saving technique and explain the effects of ‘cold water shock’, a significant factor in many accidental drownings. The Association says if every employee in the industry shared this with their family, it could avert a tragic incident either over this holiday period or in the future: rnli.org/safety/respect-the-water

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