Grundon Sand & Gravel’s flagship Kennetholme quarry hosted the prestigious annual Safety and Health Awareness Day (SHAD), organised by the South East Quarries and Landfill Group (SEQLG), a voluntary group made up of quarry and landfill operators, on Tuesday (September 15).
More than 120 people, including quarry and landfill operators, safety representatives, advisors and operatives, attended the event, which was designed to highlight the importance of health and safety issues.
Neil Grundon, deputy chairman of Grundon Sand & Gravel, opened the event and told the audience he was extremely proud of the company’s involvement.
“We are delighted to be hosting this very important event, which provides an opportunity to learn and share best practice, as well as putting the emphasis on providing good, sound practical advice,” he said.
“We take site safety and best practice extremely seriously and take great pride in ensuring that our own sites operate to the highest possible safety standards for employees and visitors alike.
“Safety must always be paramount within our industry and having the opportunity to learn from the experts at events such as this, and see the latest tools and equipment available, is a valuable opportunity for all of us as we strive to do even better.
“Also, it’s not every day that opportunities present themselves to learn about health and safety on a working quarry, especially to focus on the unique challenges that an environment such as this presents.”
The day-long programme included the opportunity to visit several different areas of the quarry and watch demonstrations on eight different health and safety-related topics, including working at height; manual handling; vehicle and pedestrian safety and visibility; and fault finding and guarding.
Also on show was some of Grundon Sand & Gravel’s own operating equipment, including a new giant £200,000 loading shovel and a giant excavator delivered for the day from its Frith End quarry.
Participants were divided into teams and there was also a competitive spirit as prizes were awarded for those spotting a series of health and safety “bloomers” which were deliberately placed around the site as part of the training exercise.
David Isham, chairman of the SEQLG safety group, praised Grundon Sand & Gravel for volunteering to host the day, saying: “We were delighted when they stepped forward and we hope it will encourage others to do the same. The Grundon team has put in a lot of time into helping to promote health and safety and it was an excellent event.
“If someone can take just one thing back to their workplace and look at how they perform a specific task, the tools they use, the PPE they might wear; and change something for the better, then we will feel we have achieved something.
“If they change four or five things, even better, but the key aim of the event was to get people to understand safety and realise the need to work more safely, both for their own benefit and that of their colleagues.”
With responsibility for inspecting quarries on a regular basis throughout the south east and south west of England, he joined the team helping to raise awareness of pedestrian safety.
“The SEQLG does a sterling job and thanks must go to them and to Grundon for organising and hosting this fantastic event,” he said. “Days like this are really important in helping to focus the minds of quarry operatives on site safety.”
Echoing David Isham, he added: “For us, workforce involvement is key and, by attending such events, we hope that individuals will have learnt something to take it back to their own sites and put it into practice.”
The Kennetholme quarry is the largest within the Grundon Sand & Gravel family and produces a range of flint-based sand and shingles for the construction and decorative landscaping markets.