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Guide launched to improve quarry site safety

The Working Safely with Geotechnical Risk in Quarries guide was developed by the Construction Material Processors Association (CMPA) in consultation with Earth Resources Regulation, Victoria’s resources and mining industry regulator.

The guide outlines potential geotechnical hazards that might be present or that might occur at a quarry site, such as a pit wall collapse. It provides practical safety advice for workers and contractors, eg how to identify unexpected rock movement and what measures can be taken to ensure the safety of people on-site. The guide also includes effective ways to progressively rehabilitate a quarry site.

According to the CMPA’s publication Sand & Stone, the guide was conceived during a workshop about safe working distances from quarry faces, which was held in February 2015. It was said to have been designed to help CMPA members meet the requirements of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio launched the guide at a CMPA-hosted workshop in Kinglake last week, indicating the guidelines would sit alongside Earth Resources Regulation’s existing Guidance Material for the Assessment of Geotechnical Risks in Open Pit Mines and Quarries.

The Victorian quarrying industry produces more than 40 million tonnes of hard rock, sand and gravel each year, generating more than $676 million in sales. D’Ambrosio said each quarry worker had a right to go to work knowing they would return home safely to their family.

“These guidelines help quarry workers identify the risk of geotechnical hazards and recommend actions to help prevent incidents before they happen,” she stated.

The guide will be available to CMPA members via the association’s website and to non-members at a fee.

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