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Strategic Forum campaign to eliminate entrapment

MPA LOTOTO guide

Partners from across the industry come together to tackle one of the sector’s key safety challenges

THROUGH its work in 2018 and early 2019, the Strategic Forum for Health and Safety in the Mineral Products Sector has been developing detailed plans to support its aim of making 2019 the year to eliminate entrapment incidents within the sector.

The Strategic Forum has brought together partners from across the industry, including companies, trades unions, regulators, trade bodies and others, who are able and willing to make a positive contribution to tackling the challenges faced by the industry.

Martin Riley, senior vice-president at Tarmac and Strategic Forum partner, commented: ‘The wider industry has come together through the Forum with a determination to eradicate entrapment from our industry. As partners we are working collectively to send the powerful message that we all take responsibility to ensure we send our people home safe.’

Entrapment by machinery is a recurring cause of incidents on site. Often at the root of the problem is a failure to follow correct procedures in locking-off and isolating equipment to allow maintenance to be carried out safely.

Colin Mew, Chief Inspector of Quarries for the HSE and Strategic Forum partner, emphasized why entrapment was chosen as the top priority for the industry: ‘It’s the simple things, the basic issues that are catching people out and hurting people.

‘As inspectors, we’re focusing on these areas because it’s where we still find problems – guarding, pedestrian safety, isolation and competence of individuals. They don’t necessarily require sophisticated solutions, but good basic risk management.’

As announced at the end of 2018, the eliminating entrapment campaign consists of a suite of active measures that together will provide support and guidance to those working in the industry.

This month the first of these key elements of the campaign is being rolled out across the industry. This is the MPA’s LOTOTO toolkit, which focuses reducing the consequences of contact with moving machinery and ineffective isolation, including:  

The MPA ‘Guide to Energy Isolation and LOTOTO’ (a copy was enclosed with the April issue of Quarry Management magazine) describes the principles of LOTOTO (Lock-Out – Tag-Out – Try-Out), which is a way to isolate equipment to ensure maintenance and cleaning can be undertaken safely. It can assist operational employees follow a safe process when working on plant and machinery that require isolation and de-isolation. The booklet was designed for all operational employees to put in their top pocket and for use in toolbox talks and training sessions. By following each of the nine steps, employees can significantly reduce their risk of serious injury.

Posters and stickers with two images focusing on the high risk of not isolating plant and machinery correctly from all energy sources, and a third reaffirming the nine steps of LOTOTO using images to assist employees’ understanding of the process. It is recommended that they are positioned on communal notice boards, at welfare facilities, and in control and switch rooms as a reminder prior to starting work. 

The guides are being sent out to members of the MPA, BAA and IQ along with delegates on MPQC courses. All organizations involved in distributing the handy pocket-sized guide are partners of the Strategic Forum.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘These resources are not a substitute for the required leadership, management and documentation that need to be put in place to discharge companies’ legal responsibilities. They have been produced as a practical approach to reduce and prevent incidents and raise awareness.

‘By embracing the MPA principles of ‘Safer by Sharing’ and maximizing the distribution and use of these materials, we are helping to reduce the risk of another ‘Fatal 6’ incident occurring. This approach forms part of a wider industry campaign supported by the Strategic Forum.’

Additional copies of the handbook are available from: [email protected]. The guidance is also available online via the MPA and Safequarry websites or can be viewed/downloaded below.

Following the distribution of the LOTOTO guide, a short online training module will be launched. Developed jointly by MPQC and IQ, the training will be aimed at supervisors and managers to help them make sure their teams are following the correct procedures.

Also being produced is a simple audit for site managers to help them assess whether their equipment is designed, maintained and suitable for safe working. The audit is being produced by another Strategic Forum partner, QNJAC.

By working together, all the partners are committed to the campaign to eliminate entrapment from the industry, sharing their resources and knowledge with a common objective.

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