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HSENI issues warning to quarry operators


Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland calls for adequate safety precautions around water

THE Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is reminding quarry operators to ensure adequate safety precautions are taken whilst working around water.

Earlier this year a fatal incident occurred where a subcontractor operating an excavator drowned in a flooded excavation.

The safety regulator says quarry operators must have procedures in place to prevent people from being placed at risk of drowning in ponds, lagoons and flooded excavations. This includes individuals operating vehicles in the quarry.

HSENI says adequate information on the risks and controls must be provided to employees, non-employees and visitors alike.

Where there is a risk of a vehicle travelling into water, the quarry operator must ensure that adequate edge protection is in place. This should be at least 1.5m in height or half the diameter of the largest vehicle wheel operating in the quarry – whichever is greater, and the impact face of the edge protection should be as near vertical as possible.

Lifebuoys as well as suitable signage warning of the danger of water must also be available where people are at a risk of drowning.

HSENI advises quarry operators to inspect all ponds, lagoons and excavations within their quarry and ensure adequate control measures are in place to mitigate the risk.

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