Programme of work

Target Zero 2010-2015

At Hillhead 2010 the industry pledged its support for the next phase of Target Zero by committing itself to reducing injuries by a further 15% year-on-year to 2015 compared to a 2010 baseline.

The quarrying industry has shown itself to be one of leaders in Great Britain for setting and delivering on harm reduction targets and its work on competency, worker involvement, creating healthier and safer workplaces and customising support for SMEs align closely to the HSE Strategy.

Underpinning the success of this initiative, however, is the leadership shown by top management and trade associations, which is key to delivering the HSE Strategy, coupled with the commitment shown by employees and their representatives in striving for continuous improvement in health and safety.

Judith Hackitt, who gave the keynote address at the recommitment event, said:

"It is with pleasure that I offer my support to the newest phase of the UK quarries' already successful initiative to improve health and safety at its sites. For health and safety to be improved further, industry needs to take the lead in identifying its own priorities based on the risk profile of the industry. You have already come a long way with an impressive 76% reduction in injuries since the Hard Target initiative began in 2000 but reaching the new goals will require even more hard work, determination and development of new approaches. It is also right that organisations in this sector recognise their responsibility to work together to share best practice and lessons learned. This is the level of sustained commitment that will be required to achieve the new target in every individual company."

To assist in delivering its goal, the Target Zero initiative has nine working groups dealing with:

Target Zero background

The British quarry industry has traditionally had a poor health and safety record. However, through an effective partnership approach with all key stakeholders including HSE, this is no longer the case.

The Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC) is a tripartite committee (HSE, employers and employees) at which stakeholders in the British quarry industry are able to discuss priorities and develop solutions. The HSE's definition of a quarry includes all surface mining: ie opencast coal, industrial minerals, kaolin, ball clay, brick clay, barytes, gypsum, silica sands, fluorspar, china stone, slate, fullers' earth, limestone, dolomite, basalt, and aggregates. Thus defined, the industry consists of some 20,000 direct employees, 20,000 contractors and daily 20,000 lorry drivers.

In June 2000, the Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC) adopted the "Hard Target", an initiative aimed at halving the number of reportable accidents in the industry by 2005. The quarry industry surpassed its 'Hard Target' by reducing all reportable injuries by 52% in five years.

In an event held on 29 November 2005 to celebrate the achievement of the Hard Target, HSC Commissioner, Hugh Robertson, congratulated all those who had helped reach the target. He said:

"Well done to everybody in the industry who has risen to the challenge of the 'Hard Target'- to cut reportable injuries by 50% by 2005. The quarry industry has shown that a competent management and a genuinely involved workforce will deliver targets making it an exemplar to other traditional heavy industries."

Under this initiative, a balanced set of strategic objectives contributed to the achievement of the target:

Education and training

Major education and training initiatives have been undertaken across the industry to improve competence and raise health and safety performance.

Key achievements under this objective include:

  • The development of vocational qualifications in the management of health, safety and environment in the extractives industries
  • Lecture pack for higher education courses
  • The development of a Contractors' Safety Passport Scheme
  • The development of an industry-specific course for employee representatives
  • A commitment from the industry for all relevant employees to achieve assured competence.
  • Award-winning resource for schools,

Key Groups and Processes

This refers to work to influence key groups such as Chief Executive Officers and employee representatives, and to ensure that effective control measures are in place at high-risk plant, such as vehicles and conveyors, and processes, such as explosives and geotechnics.

Key achievements under this objective include:

  • Hard Target "Best Practice" CD-ROM of toolbox talks
  • Stakeholder conferences (sharing good practice with other target scheme champions in related industries)
  • The Atlantic Alliance (sharing best practice with the quarry industry in Europe and the United States)
  • Minerals Products Association Showcase Awards

Promotional and enforcement activity

Various publicity initiatives have been taken forward on quarry health and safety, with a programme of topic inspections in addition to HSE's normal rigorous enforcement of appropriate standards. Articles in Quarry Fact File provided practical information in support of this programme.

Topics covered have included:

  • Falls from height
  • Tip and excavation rules
  • Provision and use of seatbelts
  • Stability of tips and excavations
  • Quarry design
  • Competence

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Updated 2022-10-12