HSA Quarry Sector Resources
The Health and Safety Authority view the Quarrying Industry as a high risk sector and resources are in place so that the industry can be adequately monitored, policed and directed.
The Health and Safety Authority divide the resources allocated to the quarry industry so that there is a suitable balance of inspection, enforcement, guidance, practical advice and promotional activities.
Although production levels and the number of quarries in production has significantly reduced in recent years the Health and Safety Authority still deploy a significant level of resources to the industry.
Quarry Inspection Group
Approximately 250 inspections/investigations are carried out by Inspectors annually. These interactions can be routine, on foot of a complaint or in response to an accident or incident.
A number of Inspectors located at each of the HSA offices carry out Quarry inspections as part of the overall national framework of inspection. The Inspectors involved in Quarry inspection generally have a background in the quarry industry or an engineering background and have several years’ experience in quarry inspection and are familiar with the issues facing quarry operators.
Quarry Policy Group
The Quarries Policy Group is currently involved in a number of activities to improve safety and health at Quarries. These activities currently involve updating the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Quarries) Regulations, 2008 and the associated guidance and the draft legislation has recently been out to Public Consultation .
The Quarries Policy Group also gather information and statistics in relation to accidents and incidents both in Ireland and from other sources and use this information to guide inspectors to target specific activities during inspection and to influence employers, employees and their representative groups.
The Quarry Safety Partnership is a group established by the Quarry’s Policy Group in 2013. The members of the group represent the employer’s representative groups (Irish Concrete Federation/Construction Industry Federation), employees groups (ICTU/SIPTU) and interest groups (IMQS). The group meet every 3 or 4 months to discuss and seek to address issues of concern in the industry and to look at potential events and promotional activities.
The Quarry Policy Group also works closely with their peers in the HSE (NI) and HSE (UK) to look at ways to improve safety and health at quarry operations.
The Quarry’s Policy Group work with HSE (NI) and Industry groups to hold the bi-annual All-Island Quarries Safety Conference – The next event will be hosted in Armagh on October 18th 2016.