The history of commercial quarrying activity in Devon and Cornwall stretches back to the late medieval period. It’s a unique region with an extensive variety of workable minerals. Businesses operating there also have to contend with a variety of unique challenges associated with Devon and Cornwall’s standing as one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations. Health and Safety onsite and beyond the gate is top of the agenda for local operators, with companies committing time and resource to knowledge development in this key area.
The quarrying industry has done much to improve health and safety over the years but there is no room for complacency – there remains much still to be done. Knowledge, understanding and practical application of key regulations and standards affecting the quarrying and mineral extractive industries across all those working in the sector is central to meeting the aim of zero harm.
The importance of continuing professional development (CPD) for employees in the mineral extractive sector should not be underestimated – it is a career-long obligation for practicing professionals and ensures continued professional competence and ‘fitness for purpose’.
The importance of engaging with colleagues, communities and wider stakeholders for quarrying and mineral extractives operators large and small is no longer a luxury but is increasingly now embedded in corporate strategy and business culture.
QM spoke to James Thorne, the new chief executive officer of The Institute of Quarrying, about the growth opportunities and challenges facing the industry, and his quest to ensure IQ continues to be at the forefront of education and training excellence, and professional competence within the sector.