As President of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ), I am in a privileged position following in the footsteps of my predecessors in this role, all of whom have helped build the Institute into the organisation it is today. Whilst the time within the role is relatively short, we have all aspired to ensure the long-term goals of the Institute are progressed.
My recent columns have focused on the challenges our industry faces in managing health and safety. In dealing with these challenges, leadership is a recurring theme that affects the whole organisation - from the board room to individual operational sites.
Leadership is critical to ensuring organisations are not only profitable, but also operate in a manner that is responsible and that enables our people go home safely at the end of each day.
We all know that health, safety and well-being are the top priority for our industry and those working within it. What we know also is that 2017 represented the worst year for fatalities in five years.
Rightly consigned to history are the days of accepted poor practice and safety at work in our sector. Today, the UK minerals extractives industry is the global benchmark for operational standards of safety, delivered through a commitment to, and investment in, better operational practices, as well as improved standards of education, training, skills and leadership.