The CEMEX team based at Wickwar Quarry, Avon has won a prestigious industry Health and Safety Award for the development of emergency drills and rescues with one of their contractors, Response Engineering Ltd.
The award, winner of the Contractors Safety category, was presented to CEMEX Aggregates South West and Wales by the Mineral Products Association (MPA) at the annual Health and Safety Conference in London. It was collected by Quarry Manager for Wick and Wickwar, Frank Hogg.
Quarrying is a harsh working environment with health and safety its No. 1 priority. Every day as well as employees a number of contractors are involved in ensuring the supply of aggregates to the construction industry. One such supplier was Response Engineering whose engineers were working at Wickwar Quarry on a dust filter unit within one of the rock crushers.
The work involved potentially high risk as the team had to work at height, in confined working space and with hot processes such as welding. It soon became apparent that the usual emergency procedures may not be suitable to meet every eventuality and more than that, the contractors had no training in the CEMEX procedures.
A joint training exercise was put in place and involved a specialist unit of the local Fire Service, Urban Search and Rescue. “The exercise highlighted the need for getting everyone involved, that is not only employees but contractors as well. It allowed us to share best practice and for Response Engineering, it was the first time that they have been involved in emergency planning despite working in the industry across many sites for a number of years,” comments Frank Hogg.
Over the last ten year, 18 out of the 28 fatalities across the quarrying industry have been contractors, highlighting the need for joint collaboration. Andy Taylor, CEMEX UK Health and Safety Director said “Half of our injuries this year have involved contractors. We need to continue to improve our partnership with suppliers if we are to achieve our ultimate goal of zero injuries. Every colleague has the right to go home safe at the end of the working day.”
The MPA awards attracted 142 entries from 32 member companies. The main focus of the conference and award ceremony was the MPA’s ‘Safer by Partnership’ initiative, encouraging members and their contractors to work more closely together to reduce injuries and incidence of ill-health.
Note to editors:
- CEMEX is a global building solutions company and leading supplier of cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates. In the UK, CEMEX also produces asphalt, and has a significant share of the concrete- paving and block sectors. Additionally, the company is the leading supplier of concrete sleepers to the rail industry and a supplier of PFA cement additives. CEMEX has a national supply network in the UK with over 360 locations, to ensure that quality building materials are available to customers locally. For more information, see www.CEMEX.co.uk, www.CEMEX.com