From the
organisers of
Hillhead logo

Working in Partnership to Achieve Zero Harm

TARMAC West Region’s operational team, led by regional operations director David McClelland, recently held four Health and Safety Days – two at Halecombe Quarry in Somerset, followed by two at Cornelly Quarry in South Wales.

The first day of the Halecombe event saw Tarmac organizing and hosting the Mineral Products Association’s South West Safety Day on 8 September 2010, with nearly 100 delegates in attendance from across all the major quarrying companies. Tarmac repeated the event for 100 of their own employees on 9 September.

Martin Isles, the MPA’s director of health and safety, opened the first day and discussed the importance of the ‘Zero Harm’ target. Continuing this theme, Patrick O’Shea, chairman of the MPA and chief executive officer of Hanson, highlighted the importance of working tirelessly to reduce and eliminate harm in the industry. This view was further supported by Colin Mew, Principle Inspector of the Quarries National Inspection Team.

During the day a total of 10 interactive events were held across a specially prepared 5-acre showground. Each event required the participants to complete an individual and group workbook, thus encouraging cross-company discussion, best-practice sharing and, most importantly, raising the delegates’ knowledge and awareness of health and safety in the industry.

The 10 interactive events comprised:

Safe Maintenance: This focused on the numerous incidents that occur during maintenance activities, often as a result of the incorrect selection or use of tools. In addition, delegates were given an overview of Tarmac West Region’s maintenance fitter competence assessment scheme and training plans to show how they are working to drive competence within this critical area.

Bitumen Safety: This event was supported by Nynas, who kindly provided a bitumen tanker and gave an excellent overview on bitumen safety, especially during delivery to site.

Haulier Safety: Tarmac West Region displayed a heavy goods vehicle and a concrete truckmixer, while the region’s three transport supervisors gave delegates a valuable insight into haulier and vehicle safety. Two Tarmac hauliers were also present to discuss the importance of haulage safety.

Geotechnical: Key GeoSolutions demonstrated the importance of geotechnical understanding and, using demonstration boards and specially constructed stockpiles and quarry faces, outlined the numerous potential issues that can occur if correct stockpile and/or face management is not carried out.

[img_assist|nid=34069|title=Tarmac drilling and blasting|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=160|height=128]Drilling & Blasting: Blasting Services provided two of their key staff as well as a drill rig, which was used to demonstrate the safety aspects of drilling. In addition, videos and presentations were given on the company’s operations, ranging from profiling and drilling through to post-blast inspection.

Mobile plant: This event provided by far the biggest talking point of the day, as Tarmac’s Safety Day committee, led by district manager Rowan Elliott, had tipped over the skip of a Volvo A25 articulated dumptruck on to a lab technician’s van, graphically displaying the consequences of such an incident including the staged fatality of the occupant.

[img_assist|nid=34070|title=Tarmac mobile plant safety|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=160|height=110]This was used as part of a demonstration by Finning, who linked it to vehicle and pedestrian management during sampling activities, and gave a display of how it should be done. After this delegates were given an overview of safety inspections on mobile plant as well as demonstrations of safe and efficient loading practices using a loading shovel and dumptruck.

Winter Working & First Aid: Supported by the Red Cross, Tarmac used this event to demonstrate the need for proper preparation for winter working by setting up a simulation of a person who had slipped on ice and broken a leg, which the delegates then had to deal with. After this, delegates received training on the importance of the recovery position in emergency situations.

Hazard Spotting: A recently purchased concrete plant, which the Tarmac SHE team in the West had rigged up with numerous safety issues, was used to give a demonstration of hazard identification. This included a life-size, PPE-clad manikin incorrectly working at height, poor guarding, incorrect use of lifting equipment and unsafe storage of gas bottles. Delegates were asked to find and record all the hazards.

Gas Safety: ProGas were engaged to provide an interactive quiz on gas safety. Delegates were provided with a remote control and then given an overview of many potential gas issues, with various questions being answered via the keypad to provide an individual score for each person.

Conveyor Safety: Rema Tip-Top provided a demonstration of safe practice during work on conveyors, underlining the importance of safe isolation. A machine simulating a conveyor nip point was set up and many delegates attempted to see if they could pull themselves free, which stimulated a great deal of discussion. The company also demonstrated its new safe working practice for the cutting and splicing of conveyor belts.

Mike Miller explained how Tarmac operations director David McClelland had called upon both Rema Tip-Top and Vulcan Conveyors and asked them to work in partnership to devise tools and practices that would prevent Stanley knife injuries to employees during belt cutting. The success of this tripartite group was demonstrated by the use of the equipment, which received excellent feedback.

Following the completion of the 10 interactive events on each of the four days, David McClelland gave an address entitled ‘Working to Achieve Zero Harm’, outlining Tarmac West Region statistics and actions taken to work in the ‘proactive zone’ of health and safety management, as well as the Region’s clear focus on understanding near hits, the underlying causes and the importance of close-out to the satisfaction of the employees.

Colin Mew said he had been glad to attend the MPA Safety Day at Halecombe Quarry to give an opening address, and to join a group for the day to work through the 10 interactive stands.

‘A couple of things impressed me in particular,’ he commented. ‘First, the organization of the event – I can only imagine the challenges that the organizers had to overcome to put on an event of this scale. The second was the enthusiasm and eagerness of the delegates. I’m certain that everyone will have learnt something and will have taken this away to make their work environments a safer place. I know there were things that I learnt that day.’

Mr Mew added: ‘It was interesting that ‘change’ was a feature of both the opening and closing remarks. It is true that a commitment to change is essential if the industry is to meet the targets it has set itself in terms of health and safety improvements – that of Target Zero. I cannot help but feel that events of this kind are key to bringing about that change by involving the workforce and raising their competence.’

Day two at Halecombe was specifically for 100 Tarmac employees, with David McClelland opening the event and all activities being repeated as per day one. Many of the delegates commented that the event had clearly raised their awareness of safety, especially with regard to conveyors, gas operation, mobile plant utilization and safe maintenance.

On completion of the two days at Halecombe, Tarmac’s operational team moved the entire event to Cornelly Quarry, in South Wales, where, on 15 of September, the company hosted the Institute of Quarrying’s South Wales branch safety day, which was attended by over 90 delegates from across the industry. Simon Grey, chairman of the branch, opened the event and introduced Colin Mew, who once again outlined the importance of moving towards Zero Harm in the industry.

On the final day Tarmac invited a further 100 of their own operational staff to take part in the event, with David McClelland closing out what was widely seen as an excellent four days entirely focused on health and safety within the industry and the aspiration of Zero Harm.

[img_assist|nid=34071|title=Tarmac David McClelland|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=104|height=160]‘We are absolutely committed to achieving Zero Harm in our business, and the organization of these four days of health and safety events has, without doubt, allowed us to raise awareness of the hazards that we face on a day-to-day basis,’ said Mr McClelland.

‘Our focus was to ensure that all delegates raised their level of competence and, in many cases, gained a good insight into operations that they are not commonly exposed to. This will ensure everyone is more risk-aware and will allow greater input on site safety.

He added: ‘We were delighted to host the MPA South West and Institute of Quarrying South Wales safety days. Together with the two Tarmac-only days, this means that nearly 400 delegates enjoyed the 10 interactive events.

‘I would like to thank Dan Brailsford and Huw Thomas, zone managers at Halecombe and Cornelly quarries, for their tireless dedication to preparing the showgrounds over the last six months, and also all the companies that assisted, especially Finning UK, Nynas, EPC group and Rema Tip-Top.

[img_assist|nid=34074|title=Tarmac safety day proactive zone|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=167]‘I firmly believe that we can achieve Zero Harm in our industry if we continue to change our mindset and play in the ‘proactive zone’ of safety. Focusing on near hits and unsafe acts, and the closing out of the actions raised, will prevent us from moving up the incident triangle,’ concluded Mr McClelland.


Latest Jobs