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‘Safer by Partnership’

Nigel Jackson

MPA launch new contractors’ health and safety initiative at Hillhead 2012

‘Safer by Partnership’ is the Mineral Products Association’s (MPA) latest ‘Safer by...’ initiative for members and their contractors to work more closely together to reduce contractor injuries and the incidence of ill health; and ultimately achieve the target of Zero Harm.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive MPA, said: ‘MPA members need to be able to demonstrate contractors’ and sub-contractors competence with the same degree of rigour as if the contractors were directly employed. It is in recognition of the key role that contractors play in the achievement of Zero Harm, that we have developed and launched ‘Safer by Partnership.


The MPA ‘Safer by Partnership’ initiative, launched at Hillhead 2012, sets out a clear action plan:

  1. Launch a Contractors’ Charter that will harness contractors’ and clients’ minds to work together in true partnership and contribute to the achievement of Zero Harm.
  2. Develop a single contractor database that will streamline pre-qualification by allowing contractors to lodge and share their credentials with clients.
  3. Engage to share ideas, gain feedback and review progress via Regional Contractor Forums.
  4. Share a toolkit of vital resources including statistics, publications, web links and competence mapping.  
  5. Improve knowledge of working practice in the industry so that performance can be improved. 
  6. Work closely with other relevant stakeholders so that the ‘Safer by Partnership’ initiative is widely supported and successful.

MPA statistics show that contractors are at disproportionate risk of occupational injury. Of the fatalities that occurred at MPA members’ sites between 2000 and 2011, two-thirds were suffered by contractors. Additionally, the number of contractor lost-time incidents (LTI) increased between 2009 and 2011. This is despite 10 years of overall continuous improvement in pursuit of Zero Harm.

‘Safer by Partnership’ is one of a family of ‘Safer by...’ initiatives which support the MPA board-approved ‘Safer by Competence’ policy. ‘Safer by Competence’ encompasses all employees and contractors across all products and services produced by MPA member companies and sets a series of targets spanning the mineral products sector, to deliver a fully competency-assured industry.

MPA’s ‘Safer by...’ family of initiatives was recently recognized in The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards. It was one of the factors which contributed to MPA winning the RoSPA SME Assistance Trophy in recognition of its outstanding contribution to helping small- and medium-sized firms with accident and ill health prevention.


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