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Sharing Best Practice in Health & Safety

First published in the January 2017 issue of Quarry Management

MPA Health & Safety Conference and Awards 2016 demonstrate that ‘Safer by Sharing’ is alive and well

A packed house of 285 delegates representing 62 organizations explored the critical role that ‘Inspirational and Effective Leadership’ plays in achieving Zero Harm in the workplace, at the Mineral Products Association (MPA) Health and Safety Conference and Awards 2016, which took place at 30 Euston Square on 10 November.


A key aspect of the full-day event was when chief executive officers and other representatives from the MPA’s members signed to restate their pledge to ‘achieve Zero Harm by setting an example and leading in all aspects of safety and health’. This was timed to mark the launch of the MPA’s ‘Safer and Healthier by Leadership’ programme.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the Association, said: ‘The MPA Health & Safety Committee, led so enthusiastically by Chris Leese, supported by his excellent working groups, MPA council and the board, agreed to focus on the crucial role leadership needs to play if we are to achieve our common goal of Zero Harm.

‘That is why we encouraged all CEOs from our producer and contractor member companies to attend and renew their commitment to achieving Zero Harm. The combined effort of the companies in the MPA across its 12 product groups represents the most powerful opportunity to deliver change on the ground in this industry, and the most powerful factor in that process is leadership.’

Hosted by BBC presenter Sybil Ruscoe, the morning’s proceedings continued with a series of keynote conference speakers and two interactive panel sessions. The keynote speakers included: Jesus Ortiz, UEPG president; Phillip White, head of the HSE’s Operational Strategy Division; Lawrence Waterman OBE, director of health and safety at Battersea Power Station; and Nicky Moffat CBE, formerly Britain’s highest-ranking female army officer and an expert in leadership roles.

The two interactive panel sessions focused on a number of key developments affecting the industry, with the first featuring Martin Brown, health and safety director with Crossrail, and Jem Bezodis, Kier Group’s head of safety on the Mersey Crossing. The second session featured Chris Leese, outgoing chairman of the MPA Health & Safety Committee, and senior consultants Darren Broadhead of Darren Broadhead Consulting Ltd, Rory Graham of IM&S Solutions Ltd and Glenn Rowe from Arbour Safety Management Ltd.

The afternoon session was devoted to celebrating innovation and achievement through the MPA’s Health & Safety Awards, which last year attracted 140 entries from 36 different organizations, with submissions equally balanced between companies of all sizes. Martin Whitmarsh, former chief executive officer of McLaren F1 Racing and now CEO of the Land Rover BAR America’s Cup Team, gave an engaging presentation focusing on his experience of leading teams of highly skilled engineers and sportspeople, and was on hand to present the 2016 award winners.

Lhoist UK were awarded the John Crabbe Memorial Trophy for ‘outstanding excellence in health and safety’, in recognition that health and well-being is very clearly embedded in the business’s core values with a whole series of physical and psychological initiatives, including the introduction of a Zero Harm Behaviours Framework programme and industry peer reviews.

The Hills Group were announced as the winners of the Sir Frank Davies Trophy, in acknowledgement of their leadership and workforce engagement, and the application of these principles across all aspects of the company’s business and links within the wider community.

The remaining awards and winners were:

  • Bitumen; Asphalt; Contract Surfacing: Colas Ltd – for ground-based pumps for unloading bitumen.
  • Worker Involvement: Celsa Steel Services UK – for improvement in health and safety communication and engagement.
  • Transport Initiatives: Tarmac Ltd – for vehicle and pedestrian movements review following new products and vehicles.
  • Occupational Health and Well Being: Brett Group Ltd – for Pocklington plant’s patio project pack-building automation.
  • Contractor Safety: Colas Ltd – for traffic-management access gate.
  • Engineering Initiatives: Brett Group Ltd – for improving access to Penta rumble drum for maintenance works.
  • Reducing Occupational Road Risk: FM Conway Ltd – for prevention of lorry accidents.
  • Behavioural Safety; Safety Culture; Leadership: EPC-UK plc – for Espirit ‘d Equipe team spirit behavioural safety programme.
  • MPA Special Award: MPA Transport HS Working Group: Nick Elliot (Breedon/Hope), Robert Wilkinson (CEMEX), Nigel Clamp (Hanson), Wayne Darwin (Tarmac) and Leslie Grabarz (CEMEX) – for producing and distributing 18,000 copies of the ‘MPA Drivers Handbook’.
  • MPA Special Award for companies with more than 100 employees: FM Conway and CEMEX UK – for encouraging ‘safer and healthier by sharing’ through and Safe, which connect more than 30,000 people across 160 countries through safety alerts.
  • MPA Special Award for companies with 1–100 employees: Singleton Birch – for maintaining excellent health and safety standards and contributing to health and safety initiatives within the MPA membership and in Europe.

In addition, 10 individuals were recognized for their personal health and safety contributions: Rob Buston (Brett Group), Andrew Parsons (CEMEX UK), Stephen Bull (CEMEX UK), Steve Taylor (CEMEX UK), Nigel Mitchell (CEMEX UK), Ryan Wood (Colas Ltd), Chris Taylor, (Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd), Richard Needham (Aggregate Industries), John Hudson (Colas Ltd) and Peter Smith (Colas Ltd).

Congratulating all the winners on their awards, the MPA’s health and safety manager, Kevin Stevens, said: ‘The sharing of best practice shows how like-minded communities are doing their utmost to think outside and beyond our present circle of ideas to improve health and safety in our industry. Every idea gained and shared is another step towards Zero Harm.

‘We now hold the responsibility to ensure the excellent ideas from this year’s awards have maximum impact and are shared within and beyond our own industry to inspire others to contribute and share. We will utilize and the Safequarry and Safeprecast apps to achieve this.’

Videos from the MPA Health & Safety Awards 2016 can be viewed on or on the Association's YouTube channel.


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