Health & Safety
The health and safety of the industry’s employees is a key priority of the ICF. Working in a quarry involves a number of common hazards and a proactive approach to identifying and mitigating the risk of accidents is critical to ensuring the safety of employees. ICF has been to the forefront in educating members on the importance of a safety culture within the working environment as well as identifying risks and advising on how to avoid accidents.
ICF works closely with the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) to improve safety in our industry. ICF meets regularly with the Authority and sits on the Quarry Safety Committee within the HSA. Both organisations co-operate particularly well in the area of education and regularly run joint events targeted at operators in the industry. The ICF’s health & safety committee produces regular safety bulletins for members on the key risks associated with working in quarries. In addition, ICF makes submissions on regulatory and training issues in the area of health and safety to the Health & Safety Authority and Solas.
The ICF health & safety committee is made up of safety professionals working in member companies. The committee regularly monitors and shares experiences of accidents, near misses and best practice thereby increasing knowledge and awareness within the industry.
Earlier this year, the Health & Safety Authority (HSA), with the support of the ICF, carried out health and safety workshops with speakers from the HSA and Irish Water Safety. The presentations highlighted the different initiatives on quarry safety to be undertaken in quarries by the authority in 2019.
The presentations focused on the areas of fixed and mobile crushers, boundaries and water hazards and vehicle and pedestrian safety.
HSA will be carrying out focused inspections at relevant periods during 2019 and the initiative on vehicle and pedestrian safety will coincide with Quarry Safety Week 2019 in September.
The All-Island Extractive Industries Health and Safety Conference and Exhibition was held on Wednesday 26th September, at Roadstone Doran’s Pit, Blessington, Co Wicklow. The event was organised by the Health and Safety Authority in partnership with Health and Safety Executive (NI), the Irish Concrete Federation, Irish Mining and Quarrying Society and Quarry Products Association Northern Ireland.
On the day expert speakers gave presentations on best practice in the extractive industries, the use of state-of-the-art technology and how to take care of industry’s most valuable asset – its employees. There was also a large selection of indoor and outdoor exhibitors with some holding live demonstrations of their equipment throughout the day.
In 2018, ICF and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) recently held two block manufacturing safety workshops.
The HSA identified concrete block manufacturing as a major priority for 2018 and carried out detailed inspections of stand-alone concrete block manufacturing locations and also in quarries where block manufacturing takes place.
Presentations were given by Jim Holmes, HSA and Gordon Bloomer, Coote Finlay Engineering.
The objective of Quarry Safety Week 2017 was to highlight the key hazards which exist on a daily basis in operating quarries and some practices and proactive measures which can reduce the risk of accidents and injury to staff.
In support of Quarry Safety Week 2017 HSA Inspectors conducted an intensive round of nationwide safety inspections throughout the week and ICF members undertook safety initiatives to highlight the importance of quarry safety in their locations.
To view some of these safety initiatives or for more information visit Quarry Safety Week 2017.
In 2016, the ICF and the Health and Safety Authority ran a series of regional safety workshops throughout the country.
The presenters at the seminars were Mr. Jim Holmes of the Health and Safety Authority and Mr. Clive Kelly, member of the ICF health & safety committee.
The seminars addressed issues such as accident statistics, key hazards, enforcement, training requirements, record keeping and best practice.
The All-Island Quarry Safety Seminar 2016 was held on October 18th in Armagh City Hotel, Co Armagh. This biennial event, was hosted by the Health & Safety Executive (Northern Ireland) and the Health & Safety Authority and supported by the Irish Concrete Federation and the Quarry Products Association (Northern Ireland). Presentations at the event addressed issues such as electrical safety, safety culture, guarding, worker health and dust monitoring. The afternoon’s session was chaired by Gerry Farrell of the ICF.
In 2016, the Health & Safety Authority (HSA), with the support of the ICF, carried out a Pre-Stressed Concrete Initiative which involved 11 HSA inspectors inspecting 22 Pre-Stressing locations.
In advance of the inspections, ICF hosted a workshop on the initiative where participants were briefed by the HSA on the purpose and the format of the initiative and the key areas to be inspected. ICF greatly welcomed the initiative and believes that it is a useful template for future safety initiatives.