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Mineral products industry launches entrapment campaign

Supervisors, managers and workers in the mineral products industry will receive new guidance on “lock-out, tag-out, try-out” (LOTOTO) procedures to prevent workers being drawn into or trapped by heavy equipment. 

Mineral products industry launches entrapment campaign
© iStock/ SlavkoSereda

The guidance is part of an entrapment reduction campaign launched by the Strategic Forum for Health and Safety in the Mineral Products Sector.

LOTOTO builds on the “lock-out, tag-out” procedure, which ensures that power sources are isolated before maintenance work can start. It includes an additional step that requires operators to test the controls before they can complete their tasks. 

In Guide to Energy Isolation and LOTOTO, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) – the trade body for the UK’s aggregates, cement and concrete industries – says “this simple addition to the process would identify if there are any faults with the isolation points and, if there are, any work wouldn’t be carried out until the investigation into the fault has been diagnosed and [it is] safe to continue”.

The Strategic Forum said that in early 2019 “everyone in the industry” will receive a LOTOTO guide developed by the MPA, “to encourage a high level of engagement between workers, supervisors and managers on safe working”.

In addition, supervisors and managers will be issued with guidance by the Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC) and the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) on engaging their staff and how to explain the LOTOTO procedure to their workforces.  

The third part of the campaign requires site managers to carry out annual checks on the machinery to ensure it is well maintained and in safe working order.

“As a result, the campaign will ensure that all equipment is fit for purpose, that everyone knows how to safely use it, and that workers, supervisors and managers routinely discuss and check that their arrangements are safe,” the Strategic Forum said.

MPA, MPQC and IQ are members of the Strategic Forum, along with the Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee, the British Aggregate Association and Unite the Union.

There are around ten serious or fatal incidents a year involving operating plant.

Lawrence Waterman, chair of the Strategic Forum, said; “The [Health and Safety Executive] threw down the gauntlet when it launched Helping GB work well – challenging industry to take up the leadership in health and safety.

“The mineral products sector, vital in so many ways not least underpinning the UK’s infrastructure programme, has taken this on in forming the Strategic Forum for Health and Safety and committing to throwing all its combined efforts into a campaign to eliminate those terrible entrapment accidents that kill and maim. It’s a clarion call to the 75,000 people who work in the industry.”


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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