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Quarrying industry on track to meet H&S target

THE Mineral Products Association’s Health and Safety Best Practice Awards 2009 took place today [6 October] at the Institution of Civil Engineers in central London, in front of more than 200 attendees, including industry representatives, key health and safety personnel, and representatives from the HSE and other stakeholder organizations.

During the last 10 years, accidents among MPA members have been reduced by 80% and the annual Awards scheme underlines the determination of the members to focus on the Hard Target of Zero Injuries. The range of innovative examples of health and safety best practice which were showcased at the event are an indication that the sector is well on course to attaining this goal.

This year there were 211 entries across eight categories: Occupational Good Health; LGV Drivers Safety; Worker Involvement; Contractors Safety; Communicating Bitumen Safety; Training Initiatives; Management Systems Initiatives; and Engineering Initiatives.

The two top prizes, the Sir Frank Davies Trophy, for best small or medium-sized enterprise, and the John Crabbe Memorial Trophy, for overall excellence in health and safety, were won by Singleton Birch Ltd and Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK respectively.

Chris Leese, vice-president of ready-mix and mortars with CEMEX UK, chaired the event and was joined by principal guest and president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), Lord Jordan of Bournville, CBE (pictured), who presented the awards.

Congratulating the MPA on its ‘exemplar performance’ in reducing reportable injuries, Lord Jordan said: ‘The mineral products industry is critically important to the future of the UK – but arguably its contribution to creating, quite literally, the foundations of the UK economy is under-recognized.

‘Just as under-recognised, in my view, is the fantastic work which your association and its members and stakeholders have undertaken to drive down workplace accidents and to safeguard employees’ health.’ 

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, added: ‘These awards demonstrate the vibrancy of our sector in identifying, sharing and communicating health and safety best practice. The MPA’s overarching expectation of Zero Injuries is complemented by an interim five-year Hard Target to halve the number of injuries incurred in 2004. I can safely predict that by the end of 2009 we will meet and beat this target.’ 

The awards ceremony also provided the launch pad for the ‘Safer by Design’ initiative, a voluntary guidance in safe plant design, which has been led by the MPA. More details about this initiative will appear in next month’s issue of Quarry Management magazine.


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