Jan 3, 2024 / by Viv Russell

President's Blog: Safety remains the top priority

Safety remains priority - Blog Header ImageWith a new year beginning, it's a time for both individuals and their employers to pause, reflect, and refocus on the importance of health, safety, and well-being. These moments of contemplation are crucial, serving as a reminder that our ultimate goal is for everyone to return home safely every day.

As the emphasis on well-being continues to grow, it's essential to acknowledge that we all support our colleagues during work, especially when external factors contribute to stress in their lives. Achieving our collective ambitions requires a constant acknowledgement that the work in health and safety is ongoing; there's no finish line. As witnessed at the previous year's close, leaders across the industry, regardless of the size of their organisations, highlighted the necessity for the Minerals Sector Safety Forum's ongoing efforts.

The forum exemplifies how the combined efforts of the Mineral Products Association (MPA), British Aggregates Association (BAA), Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC), Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC), and IQ can yield more effective results than any single organisation working alone. In 2024, the forum will evolve further to set the agenda on key issues.

Various organisations offer support and guidance for the sector, including self-audit tools from QNJAC and guidance/updates from MPA and BAA. For those unaware or yet to explore these resources, January is an opportune time to go online and discover the extensive support available.

The alignment of Safe Quarry and the QNJAC website in 2023 makes it easier than ever to access the needed information. In addition to self-audit tools, QNJAC is releasing new guidance on crucial topics such as drone usage, available this January. IQ will actively disseminate this information through online and face-to-face sessions throughout the year.

As IQ members, it is part of our professional commitment to continually develop and uphold our knowledge, with no area more critical than the health and safety agenda. I challenge individuals to commit to keeping CPD up-to-date and encouraging our colleagues to do the same.

Last year, CPD days for many branches were highly successful. In 2024, the aim is to foster even greater engagement, supporting members and connecting them with the best available information.

Entering the final year of my Presidency, I hope that we can collectively make safety the primary focus in 2024, ensuring the safest and best year for our sector. I wish you all the best in the upcoming twelve months and look forward to meeting you at the Institute's branches and events soon.

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