Mining Industry Safety Leadership Group meeting minutes - 18 July 2011

UK Coal Mining Ltd, Harworth Park, Blyth Road, Harworth, Doncaster DN11 8DB


  • BACM
    Mr P Carragher
    Mr G J Young
  • CPL
    Mr G Clarke (Chairman)
    Mr S Hunter
  • HSE
    Mr S P Wing
    Mr N P Hill (Secretary)
  • UDM
    Mr B Blenkinsopp
  • UK Coal
    Mr S Hoult
  • British Gypsum
    Dr P Holmes
    Mr R Soar
  • NUM
    Mr N Rowson
  • Maltby
    Mr G Huitson
  • Salt Union
    Mr G Dunn
  • Unite
    Mr T Bush

1. Introduction

Mr Clarke welcomed members to the meeting and reviewed the proceedings of the first meeting held on 24 May 2011.  He said it was appropriate that the MISLG was led by industry, with appropriate workforce involvement, to develop and implement a strategic approach to health and safety throughout the industry and engender cultural changes and promotion of behaviours in support of a strategic approach.

2. Minutes of last meeting

The minutes were agreed as a true record of the meeting held on 24 May 2011; Mr N Rowson to be amended to Mr N Wilson – NUM.

3. Matters arising

It was unclear whether Coalpro would act for small mines on MISLG and this situation would be clarified. 

Action:  Mr Hoult

Nominations for substitute members had been received.

MISLG representation for small operators would be achieved, in the first instance, through MAUK and Coalpro etc.  This policy would be reviewed in 12 months time.

Terms of reference had been circulated as agreed.

Strategic presentations would be delivered at agenda item 4.

Mr Dunn agreed to report back from the Mining qualifications committee at the 29 September 2011 meeting.

Action:  Mr Dunn

Reports from working groups would be addressed by agenda item 6.

4. Industry strategy presentations

4.1 UK Coal

Mr Hoult outlined work carried out within UK Coal to review processes, training, culture of the work force and safety management systems towards implementing a strong health and safety culture within the company.  These measures were intended to contribute towards achievement of a reduction in the number of personal injuries and accidents through, and in conjunction with, assessment of major hazard risks.

He drew attention to 21 project areas addressing all aspects of competence, standards, audit, health and major hazards and noted that introduction of a safety management system to measure the safety maturity of the organisation.  Discussions were still ongoing to determine the most appropriate method to disseminate details of the strategic approach to all levels of the work force.

4.2 British Gypsum

Introducing the British Gypsum strategic approach, initially developed in 2003, Dr Holmes outlined line management ownership, from the executive to the shop floor, identification of essentials for change and the safety culture and behavioural safety model.

He said that a safety climate survey was currently being undertaken to identify the safety culture and performance indicators of each part of the company; the results of which would be available shortly.

4.3 Maltby

The Maltby Colliery Safety Strategy  2011 was introduced and it was reported that the principles therein also applied to Hatfield Colliery.

Aspects of leadership were reviewed and Mr Huitson said further development of supervisors skills would shortly take place with refresher training etc being arranged as appropriate.  Similarly, major hazard "safety days" addressing specific topics were facilitated to raise the awareness of the workforce and educate individuals about health and safety obligations.

Aspects of competence management were reviewed and measures in place to improve and maintain workforce competence, including training, audit and qualification were noted.

Workforce involvement was actively facilitated and encouraged and included safety days, toolbox talks, working groups and senior overmen meetings.  Near-miss and incident reporting, understanding of the major hazard risks supported the company aim to develop a robust health and safety culture throughout the workforce.

Discussion of penalties applied to breaches or infringements of codes and rules took place together with levels of response to the climate survey.  It was noted that views of every level of the workforce were captured in this way and could inform remedial action.

4.4 Salt Union

Mr Dunn presented details of the Winsford Mine safety strategy focusing on employee engagement, personal safety awareness, and awareness of the catastrophic incident risks.  He noted issues arising from cultural differences between the UK practices and American owners' perception of these.

Presenters were asked to submit presentations to the Secretary for circulation to the group.

Action:  Presenters

To develop a strategic approach further, members were asked to prepare brief presentations of aspects of leadership within each company for the next meeting.

Action: All

Mr Clarke asked TUs to input into this process and feedback on workforce response to climate surveys etc. 

It was noted that workforce responses could be influenced by political issues within each company and discussion on the balance between safety and production took place and the pressure on businesses to deliver appropriate outputs was noted.

Members considered that affective leadership could address this issue by disseminating and implementing and changing behavioural and cultural attitudes.

5. Working Groups

5.1 Engineering Liaison Meeting

Mr Wing reports that the main outcome from the June meeting was the formation of two working groups addressing both vehicle and conveyor fires comprising representatives from all relevant sectors in the industry.

The Mining Engineering Working Group met on 22 June 2011 and would report outputs from the first three meetings at the 22 November 2011 MISLG meeting.

6. Date, place and time of next meeting

10.00am Thursday 29 September 2011 - British Gypsum, Nottingham – venue to be confirmed

7. Close

Mr Clarke closed the meeting and thanked those present for their attendance and contributions.