|Confined space access and rescue
|In 2008, the Aggregate Industries board recognised that there were deficiencies in the safe systems of work for quarry based confined space working and appointed a project officer who was tasked to report back within nine months.
Industry best practice was based heavily on the water industry and whilst safe working concepts were similar, the environmental focus was very different.
Working in conjunction with a local training provider, a completely new system of working was devised that borrowed access techniques from the emergency services, roped access industry and the military.
The project officer created a four stage safe working system - environmental survey, risk assessment, entry procedure and permit to work.
A new set of training competencies was formulated and a training system called CONSAR (Confined Space Access and Rescue) was devised.
As part of the package an operational (but closed) asphalt plant was turned into a confined space training centre.
This enabled managers, supervisors and workers to train in and on confined spaces that they will be asked to manage and/or enter.
Other measures included a standard confined space access equipment pack.
The confined space guidance, Safe System of Work (SSOW) and training package have now been implemented across the whole of Aggregate Industries UK Ltd.
No accidents or near misses in confined spaces have been recorded since this implementation.