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Running from the 9 to 16 September the "quarry safety week" campaign will involve HSA inspectors visiting over 50 quarries across the Republic of Ireland with particular attention on vehicle and machinery safety.
Dr Sharon McGuinness, HSA CEO, said the objective of the exercise is not to catch people out but to make sure the correct control systems are in place to reduce risk. Since 2009 six people have sustained fatal injuries in quarries in Ireland.
"Considerable numbers of traffic movements happen on a daily basis at quarries," said McGuinness. "These involve very large quarry vehicles with limited visibility increasing the risks to workers, pedestrians and visitors of being struck.
"To ensure safety at quarries, it is paramount that the control of quarry vehicles is a high priority focus for quarry management and quarry workers. All vehicles must be kept in good condition, pre-checked on a daily basis, with particular emphasis on maintenance and testing of brakes."
In particular inspectors will be ensuring quarries have the correct traffic management schemes in place while having identified potential risks to pedestrians. Operators need to have carried out regular brake tests on quarry vehicles within a designated brake testing area.
Vehicles must have the appropriate visibility aids with high visibility clothing being worn by workers and visitors. All drivers must have the relevant qualifications for the vehicle being driven.
Musculoskeletal harm now accounts for 27 per cent of all work-related disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost in New Zealand, according to a report from the country’s health and safety regulator, WorkSafe. A DALY is defined by the World Health Organization as one lost “healthy” life year.