UK Quarries Still Targeting Zero Injuries

The latest five-year goal –- once more to cut reportable injuries by 50 percent -– comes after the 2010 target was reached one year early, HSE reports.

The quarry industry in the United Kingdom employs about 60,000 people. Twenty thousand are employed full-time, 20,000 others are contract workers, and 20,000 are truck drivers. Their industry traditionally has posted one of Britain's worst safety and health records, but persistent effort has reduced the sector's injuries significantly, the Health and Safety Executive reports.

The HSE definition of a quarry includes all surface mining.

The Target Zero 2010–2015 goal is to reduce injuries by 15 percent in 2015 versus the 2010 baseline. This is the latest phase of a partnership in which the industry commits to challenging goals, and the Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee of HSE, employers, and employees has achieved them. "The quarrying industry has shown itself to be one of leaders in Great Britain for setting and delivering on harm reduction targets, and its work on competency, worker involvement, creating healthier and safer workplaces, and customising support for SMEs align closely to the HSE Strategy," according to the agency.

The industry achieved the 2010 target for injury reduction a year ahead of schedule, reducing reportable injuries to 155 in 2009 compared with a 2010 target of 157.

The Target Zero initiative has eight working groups:

  • Contractors
  • Education, training, and competence
  • Drilling and blasting
  • Geotechnics and faces
  • Occupational health
  • Plant
  • Road haulage
  • Worker involvement

HSE guidance that includes information sheets, toolkits, and toolbox talks is available at http://www.safequarry.com/HotTopic.aspx.

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