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‘Safer by Partnership’ launched at Hillhead 2012

World Cement,

The UK Mineral Products Association (MPA) has launched its latest ‘Safer by…’ initiative, this time focusing on contractor health and safety. Despite overall improvements in the industry’s pursuit of ‘Zero Harm’, statistics show that contractors are at a disproportionate risk of occupational injury and that two-thirds of fatalities occurring at MPA members’ sites between 2000 and 2011 were suffered by contractors. Furthermore, the number of contractor Lost Time Incidents (LTI) increased between 2009 and 2011.

‘Safer by Partnership’: MPA Launches New Contractors’ Health and Safety Initiative at Hillhead 2012

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said: “MPA members need to be able to demonstrate contractors’ and sub-contractors’ competence with the same degree of rigour as if the contractors were directly employed.  It is in recognition of the key role that contractors play in the achievement of Zero Harm, that we have developed and launched ‘Safer by Partnership’.”

Colin Mew, Principal Inspector National Quarries Inspection Team HSE, added: “I wholeheartedly endorse the aims of MPA in setting the benchmark for its members.  It’s actually quite a brave move, I think, for a trade association to ask such a thing of its membership.  But I think it’s also one which the enlightened moral majority have given full support to, so credit must go to both MPA and its membership for that. (...) It gives me, personally, huge hope that together with trade associations, none more so than MPA, we can work in partnership on important issues of the day, such as Competence.”

The ‘Safer by Partnership’ initiative action plan is set out as follows:

  • Launch a Contractors’ Charter that will harness contractors’ and clients’ minds to work together in true partnership and contribute to the achievement of Zero Harm.
  • Develop a single Contractor Database that will streamline prequalification by enabling contractors to lodge and share their credentials with clients.
  • Engage to share ideas, gain feedback and review progress via Regional Contractor Forums.
  • Share a toolkit of vital resources including statistics, publications, web links and competence mapping. 
  • Improve knowledge of working practice in the industry so that performance can be improved.
  • Work closely with other relevant stakeholders so that the ‘Safer by Partnership’ initiative is widely supported and successful.
  • ‘Safer by Partnership’ is one of a family of ‘Safer by...’ initiatives which support the MPA Board-approved ‘Safer by Competence’ policy. These initiatives was recently recognised in The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards. It was one of the factors which contributed to MPA winning the RoSPA SME Assistance Trophy in recognition of its outstanding contribution to helping small and medium-sized firms with accident and ill health prevention.

    Adapted from a press release by Katherine Markham

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