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Mineral Products Association holds Health and Safety Conference and Awards

World Cement,

The UK’s Mineral Products Association (MPA) held its Health and Safety Conference and Awards 2012 in London this week. The awards, which encourage the recognition and sharing of best practices, progress and results in health and safety, attracted 142 entries from 32 member companies and was attended by 224 delegates. Delivering ‘Safer by Partnership’ and Inspiring Excellence were the themes of this year’s conference and awards ceremony. The ‘Safer by Partnership’ initiative aims to encourage members and contractors to work together more closely thereby reducing injuries and achieving ‘Zero Harm’. The MPA also took the opportunity to launch its new contractor database at the event.

Award winners

  • Sir Frank Davies Trophy for companies with less than 1000 employees – Stanton Bonna Concrete.
  • John Crabbe Memorial Trophy for overall outstanding excellence in health and safety – Singleton Birch Ltd.
  • Bitumen; Asphalt; Contract Surfacing: Promoting Safer Behaviour – Midland Quarry Products, Griff Quarry and Asphalt Plant.
  • Contractors Safety – Cemex UK/Response Engineering, South West and Wales.
  • Engineering Initiatives – Aggregates Industries, Bardon Aggregates, Stoneycombe.
  • Leadership; Training and Management Systems Initiative – Lafarge Aggregates and Concrete, Granite House.
  • LGVs and all company vehicles; Driver Safety/Public Safety – Hanson UK, Hanson Concrete.
  • Occupational Good Health – Aggregate Industries, Concrete Products, Leighton Buzzard.
  • Worker Involvement – Tarmac, Buxton Lime & Cement.
  • 29 individuals were recognised for ‘going the extra mile’.
  • Awards for SME companies went to Eurovia Roadstone and Hills Quarry Products Ltd, Barr Quarries and Colas Ltd.

Olympic legacy

Speakers included Dr Steve Peters, the psychiatrist behind the winning Olympic GB cycling team and Dr Carolyn Yeoman, Managing Director of Highley Yeoman Consulting. When discussing why safety training is sometimes ignored, she said: “So many times, following an incident or accident, we are faced with the question 'why did he do that?' For some reason well-trained, competent and often experienced people do seemingly stupid things! Rather than blame the individual we need to look at the root cause of the problem, which is often that people are motivated to take shortcuts in order to get the job done. Unfortunately, often organisations inadvertently reinforce unsafe behaviour by rewarding people for ‘getting the job done’.”

In her keynote address, Frances Outram, HSE Board Member and Chair of the Small Business Trade Association Forum, hoped that the health and safety community would look to the dedication and success of the Olympics for inspiration.

“The Olympics were also remarkable because of the inspiration they provided to us all – the athletes themselves and also the thousands of volunteers. They showed us what can be achieved when we adopt a “can-do” attitude. I hope that this is a spirit we can continue to foster throughout the health and safety community – across all industries.

“I would like to thank the MPA for its co-operative work with HSE to promote key strategies and messages within the various industry sectors. Championing the setting of ‘targeted initiatives’ for their members, committing them to reducing accidents by a set percentages over a specific time periods. This method has proved to be very successful and with the guidance and support that MPA offers its members is helping to improve standards of health and safety.

“Improvement in health and safety is most effectively achieved when it becomes totally integrated into everything else you do. Those who try to do health and safety as an add-on, very rarely achieve an effective safety culture that can be sustained. So keep doing 'health and safety’ as an integral part of your work, make it part of being competitive, optimising production and achieving manufacturing excellence.”

Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham.

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