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QPA breaks new ground with incident alert system

RAPID online alerts are the latest tool to be employed by the quarrying industry to further step up its drive towards zero health and safety incidents.

The new alert system is a key feature of the dynamic new web site, which marks the culmination of a major multi-faceted £225,000 project. The site was launched last week at the Quarry Products Association’s annual Health & Safety Best Practice Awards.

The UK quarrying industry is believed to be one of the first to produce such a comprehensive and accessible web-based health and safety resource. was developed by the QPA with the support of its members and a range of other partners including EPIC, BAA, HSE and the University of Leeds. It has been part-funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund via the Mineral Industry Sustainable Technology (MIST) programme.


The incident alert system, in particular, represents a significant step forward for the industry. If an incident occurs on site, it can be reported via an online form. Once the new alert has been vetted and uploaded, an automatic email is sent to registered users, guiding them towards the web site for further information.

Each alert contains information and images (if available) explaining how the accident or near hit occurred and makes recommendations as to how such an incident can be avoided in the future. By sharing this knowledge other companies will be able to identify similar potential hazards in their own operations and take appropriate action to minimize these risks. Among the 50 or so incident alerts already posted on the web site, recent submissions include a fire at a sand and gravel site and an overturned concrete truckmixer.

The web site also contains toolbox talks, the latest industry ‘hot topics’ and a database of best-practice ideas, which have been trialled and recommended by operators of all sizes across the country. It is accompanied by two other campaign tools, produced earlier in the year – a printed guide based on the ideas and innovations from the annual QPA Health & Safety Best Practice Awards, and a DVD that includes 64 high-quality video clips showing how some of these innovative solutions have been applied in plants and quarries across the UK.

Martin Isles, director of health & safety for the QPA said: ‘These are superb resources and are for everyone, not just management. Taking the time to thumb through a copy of the guide in the works canteen, or to visit the web site could spark an idea that improves efficiency and prevents a serious incident. Saving lives and achieving the target of zero incidents is, after all, the ultimate aim of this project.’



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