Key leaders in the mineral products sector, companies, trades unions, regulators, trade bodies and others have come together in a new Strategic Forum to provide leadership and to foster and encourage co-operation between all interested parties to achieve high standards of risk management to prevent accidents and ill health across the industry.Focusing on key issues, the Strategic Forum will seek to co-ordinate health and safety across the sector and minimize duplication of effort.
Members of the Strategic Forum for Health and Safety in the Mineral Products Sector include: Mineral Products Association (MPA), Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC), Institute of Quarrying (IQ), Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC), British Aggregates Association (BAA) and Unite the Union (Unite).
The first key issue the new Strategic Forum has pledged to take on is the prevention of all entrapment incidents through a campaign in 2019. Recent data has revealed around 10 incidents a year, with consequences serious enough to report to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), where someone has been drawn into or trapped by running equipment.
Although great improvements have been made in the design of the plant and equipment that moves, processes, transforms and grades materials and products, these accidents are still occurring and with the power of the machinery involved they often have grave outcomes.
Lawrence Waterman OBE (pictured), a founder partner of Park Health and Safety Partnership and independent chairman of the new Strategic Forum, said: ‘The HSE threw down the gauntlet when it launched Helping Great Britain work well – challenging industry to take up the leadership in health and safety.
‘The mineral products sector, vital in so many ways, not least underpinning the UK’s infrastructure programme, has taken this on in forming the Strategic Forum for Health and Safety and committing to throwing all its combined efforts into a campaign to eliminate those terrible entrapment accidents that kill and maim. It’s a clarion call to the 75,000 people who work in the industry.’
To achieve the campaign’s aim, a three-part strategy has been agreed, for launch early in 2019:
- Everyone in the industry will be issued with a clear guide, developed by the MPA, to the process of Lock Out Tag Out Try Out (LOTOTO), which protects workers from the sudden operation of machinery. This will be used to encourage a high level of engagement between workers, supervisors and managers on safe working.
- Supervisors and managers across the industry will be provided with clear guidance on how to check the work and engage with the workforce, listening as well as explaining LOTOTO. This will be developed by MPQC and IQ.
- It is essential that as part of the campaign, and annually, site managers check that their equipment is suitable for safe working, ie well designed and maintained. QNJAC will take the lead in developing a simple audit guide and the BAA will furnish information on its independent audit scheme to assist.
The campaign will ensure that all equipment is fit for purpose, that everyone knows how to safely use it, and that workers, supervisors and managers routinely discuss and check that their arrangements are safe.