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Aggregate Industries rewarded at MPA health and safety awards

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Acknowledging the company’s efforts to improve health and safety standards, Aggregate Industries has received two awards at the Mineral and Products Association’s (MPA) annual health and safety awards.

Recognising health and safety practices in the mineral products industry, the MPA awards showcase the steps that businesses are taking towards the ultimate shared target of zero harm.

Aggregate Industries was recognised in the following two areas: ‘bitumen-asphalt-contract surfacing,’ for its automated inspection and testing (AIT), and ‘engineering initiatives,’ for addressing the issue of operatives needing to enter a confined space in order to clean down concrete mixer drums.

AIT sees all pavers, rollers, and survey vehicles fitted with the latest technology, including GPS, infrared sensors, and a data recording unit. All of these are used to capture high quality data before, during, and after the surfacing process. Thus, the road surfacing process (including surface texture and the rolling straight edge testing of the completed pavement) is made safer by removing technicians from data capture altogether. This also allows data capture operatives to be redeployed to other contracting areas, addressing an industry-wide skills shortage.

“Receiving this award for AIT is further proof that Aggregate Industries is investing and innovating to create a safe environment for staff,” said Neil Leake, National Technical Manager at Aggregate Industries. “We are very proud of the system, not only because it benefits our own workforce but it also has the potential to make a widespread contribution to the improved health and safety of the entire industry.”

The company was awarded in the ‘engineering initiatives’ category for the way it has tackled the health and safety issues faced when operatives clean down concrete mixer drums. These drums are traditionally cleaned from within by an operative using pneumatic tools.

Operatives are no longer required to enter the confined space to clean the drum, with the use of an ergonomically-designed, ultra-high pressure pneumatic wash down system, which produces up to 35 000 PSI of air flow with a relatively small amount of water. This also means that operatives no longer have to use pneumatic vibration tools to remove cured concrete, or have to deal with risks such as respirable silica, hand-arm vibration syndrome, machinery entrapment, and hazardous substance exposure. Clean down time is also reduced from an hour to around 40 minutes.

“The health and safety of our operatives is our absolute priority,” said Jason Smith, Regional Factory Manager for Concrete Products at Aggregate Industries. “By removing a large portion of the risk associated with cleaning down mixing equipment, we are ensuring that our workforce stays happy and healthy. Receiving these awards is recognition that Aggregate Industries is maintaining its status as an industry leader in health and safety, and that we are committed to upholding the highest standards through constant innovation.”

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