Safewell attended a safety day arranged by the MPA ( Mineral products association) and was hosted by Hills at their Calne quarry. About 150 operatives and managers from the quarrying industry attended. A range of H&S topics were covered by a number of presenters/exhibitors. Our Safewell representatives were Ida Okkels from Occupational health and Helen Sherwood from Health and Safety, they did a rolling presentation on respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and face fit testing – a hot topic in relation to controlling exposure to silica dust. They emphasised that wearing masks should always be a last resort, as other means of reducing exposure should be implemented first. However, there are many situations where residual risks can only be fully controlled by using an appropriate mask/filter. They explained the process of face-fit testing and common issues that arise with operatives wearing RPE in the workplace such as the recent resurgence of beards. Ida and Helen met one operative who had been provided with a top of the range mask which he had worn regularly for over a year but the filters had never been changed, as he had not been provided with any training or instruction. This is a good example of why education in the use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is so important.
The day included topics on:
• Understanding Explosives
• Fire – Managing Risk and Equipment Use
• Emergency Response – First Aid
• Working at Height – Safe Use of Harnesses
• Electrical Isolation and Lock Off
• Human Behaviour – A Safe Working Culture
• RCS and Practical Housekeeping
• Transport – Vulnerable Road Users
• Transport – Practical Road Safety – Tyre Safety/Safety Checks
Members, non-members, contractors, hauliers and other interested parties attended.
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