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Health and Safety Awards 2000

Around 200 quarry employees from all parts of the UK gathered in London on 8 September for the Quarry Products Association's Health and Safety Competition awards ceremony, an annual event which recognises outstanding levels of practice and innovation in health and safety at quarries, depots, wharves, ready-mixed concrete plants and in contract surfacing.

This year's panel of independent experts chose overall winners in eight categories, including a newly introduced class for small companies' quarries (<1.4 million tonnes/year). A total of 10 sites were also judged to be runners-up, 14 were highly commended and eight were awarded a Certificate of Merit.

Presenting the awards, David Eves CB, deputy director general of the HSE, said: 'You sometimes get the impression that health and safety is the Cinderella of the corporate agenda and that is why highly professional events like this are so important, raising the profile of health and safety and helping stimulate real improvements in performance. I was most impressed with the range and quality of the entries. They showed meticulous analysis of the problem areas, creativity and sheer hard work to raise standards.'

Scheme organiser Martin Isles added: 'It is imperative that quarry health and safety issues are addressed by every single person in the industry and these awards certainly go a long way in demonstrating the necessary underlying culture. All of the competition winners are of outstanding calibre this year. They are fine examples of the major importance the industry places on continually improving health and safety through both improved standards and innovative practice.'

This year the Barry Hall Trophy in the Large Quarries category was awarded to Hanson Aggregates' Criggion Quarry near Shrewsbury, while in the Medium Quarries category, the EPIC Trophy was awarded to the Tarmac Group's Denbigh Quarry in North Wales. Another Tarmac site, Bolsover Moor Quarry, in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, received the Tilcon Trophy in the Small Quarries category, and the inaugural Sir Frank Davies Trophy in the new Small Companies' Quarries section was awarded to S. Grundon's Frith End Quarry, in Bordon, Hampshire.

In the Depots and Wharves category, Foster Yeoman's Botley Depot in Hampshire was awarded the Trevor King Trophy, while the Tarmac Group (Concrete and Mortar, Scotland) received the Blue Circle Trophy in the Ready-Mixed Concrete and Mortar category, and Lafarge Redland Aggregates' Bristol Contracting won the Wimpey Minerals Trophy in the Contract Surfacing section.

The QPA's special Innovation Award was presented to Tarmac Central's Gawsworth Quarry, where staff have devised a method of immediately discharging stored pneumatic energy upon electrical isolation, thereby eliminating the risk of trapped limbs and fingers during the removal of blockages in chutes fitted with air-activated doors. The judges felt that this innovation was particularly pertinent, as it had addressed a problem that exists not just in quarries, but in almost every plant or factory across the whole country.

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