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Quarry operators need adequate safety precautions around water

(Northern Ireland)

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) have reminded quarry operators to ensure adequate safety precautions are taken whilst working around water.

Earlier this year a fatal incident occurred, where a subcontractor operating an excavator drowned in a flooded excavation.

Quarry operators must have procedures in place to prevent people from being placed at risk of drowning at or near ponds, lagoons and flooded excavations. This includes individuals operating vehicles in the quarry.

Adequate information on the risks and controls must be provided to employees, non-employees and visitors.

Where there is a risk of a vehicle travelling into water, the quarry operator must ensure that adequate edge protection is in place. Edge protection should be at least 1.5 metres in height or half the diameter of the largest vehicle wheel operating in the quarry - whichever is greater. The impact face of the edge protection should be as near vertical as possible.

Lifebuoys as well as suitable signage warning of the danger of water must be available where people are at a risk of drowning.

Quarry operators are advised to inspect all ponds, lagoons and excavations within their quarry and ensure adequate control measures are in place to mitigate the risk.

HSENI June 2021


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