First published in the June 2022 issue of Quarry Management
The Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC) has seen its working groups continue to develop guidance and support in the drive to improving health, safety, and well-being for the sector with a focus on tackling the ‘Fatal 6’ priority issues.
Currently, the QNJAC working groups are tasked around five key operational areas:
- Drilling and blasting
- Geotechnical – faces and stockpiles
- Leadership and workforce engagement
- Plant – fixed and mobile.
Working with employers, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), trade associations, professional bodies, trade unions, and education providers, QNJAC epitomizes the collaborative approach and expertise within the sector. Under the direction of the Strategic Forum for Health and Safety in the mineral sector, QNJAC has produced important guidance in the form of self-audit tools to support organizations in identifying areas for improvement and establishing action plans to deliver better outcomes.
The first self-audit tool on safe site energy isolation was launched in 2019. Presentations on how to use it were delivered online and through the Institute of Quarrying’s branch network. The tool sat with a suite of other resources on lock-off and safe isolation from the Mineral Products Association (MPA) and an e-learning module from the Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC).
In early 2022, the same approach was taken when addressing the issue of pedestrians and workplace transport. A self-audit tool has been developed that follows the Plan-Act-Do methodology. Users of the audit can record their findings, use them to write an action plan, and make a record of the actions taken as a result of the audit.
Presentations on how to use this tool are planned to roll out across the country in the latter part of 2022 and early 2023. Other supporting resources to complement the self-audit tool have been developed by the MPA and MPQC.
Alongside these readily available tools, this year QNJAC also has plans to launch other self-audit tools for geotechnical and working from height. Other areas where QNJAC is actively working to support the industry is in key areas such as leadership and workforce engagement, alongside mental health, and stress.
All the materials that have been developed by QNJAC are available through the QNJAC website as well as through safe quarry and the IQ membership app. The easily accessible resources can help everyone improve managing health and safety in their organizations and on their sites.
For those who have not yet used the guidance, visit us at Hillhead and see how we can help you. QNJAC will be present on the Institute of Quarrying stand with QR code links to the guidance.
QNJAC members give their time and expertise voluntarily to support the industry and the guidance provided is free for all to use. If you are interested in getting involved in the working groups, QNJAC would like to hear from you.