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2022 / 2023 Edition

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New guidance on safety leading indicators for UK quarries


QNJAC seeks to improve industry’s future performance with leading indicators of occupational safety and health

FOLLOWING several years of successful pursuit of a safer working environment under the ‘Target Zero’ banner but with a persistent residual number of incidents continuing, the quarrying industry is seeking a rejuvenated approach to achieving the final and most challenging stage of improvement.

The need to move away from simply counting safety and health outcomes and to work primarily on enablers of improved future performance has long been recognized by many in the industry.

The Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC) has now formally addressed this at industry level by providing guidance on best practice.

Facilitated by the Camborne School of Mines, senior company health and safety managers discussed and identified good practice, with trade union and workforce input, basing their recommendations around 12 key areas.

In order to meet the need for a high quality of delivery of these enablers, beyond simple numerical counts, descriptions of ‘good practice’ are provided and a questionnaire offered to assess people’s perceptions of some areas.

This questionnaire has been kept very short to encourage use, as although it is recognized that a few organizations successfully use more complex survey tools, many may be deterred by the complexity of regular compilation and analysis.

Drawing from ‘Safety Maturity’ theory, it is likely that companies are at different stages of development in achieving such good practice, so the recommendation is to consider the work and to match the areas against current working before developing an improvement plan.

Some areas reflect defined procedures while others require consideration of people’s actions at all levels within the organization and, while larger, well-resourced companies are likely to have much of this in place, there are almost always some aspects of improvement that can be made.

This QNJAC guidance has been published through the QNJAC website ( and mobile phone application, and may be found under ‘Leadership and Workforce Engagement’, with the opportunity to download a pdf version at the base of the ‘Overview’ section. It is also available on the website.

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