June 28, 2012 | Brenkley News
The national head of the UK’s largest organisation for individual health and safety professionals has been in the north east to view the industry-leading working practices that are in place at a Northumberland surface mine.
Subash Ludhra, president of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), paid a visit to the Shotton site, which sits on the Blagdon Estate to the west of Cramlington, to find out more about how safety is designed into the work that developer Banks Mining carries out on the 300-hectare site.
Mr Ludhra was taken on a tour of the mine to see how Banks manages the movement of the vehicles and equipment that it uses on site to ensure that the staff working there can do so in the safest possible environment.
Measures including the layout and traffic management around the site, the site working methods, engineering and geotechnical controls, plant safety, personal protective equipment compliance and operator competence.
Mr Ludhra also visited the £3m Northumberlandia landform, which lies on land adjacent to the mine and which has been formed from 1.5 million tonnes of carefully-selected material taken from the Shotton site.
The visit was hosted by Jeff Fowler, Banks’ Group health and safety manager, and was organised to mark Jeff taking over at the chair of IOSH’s Tyne & Wear branch, which has more than 1,000 members across the whole of the north east.
Banks Mining employs around 150 people at the Shotton surface mine, along with a further 50 staff at the nearby Brenkley Lane site, and its mining operations in south east Northumberland are estimated to contribute around £20m to the regional economy every year.
Jeff Fowler says: “The health, safety and environmental responsibilities that come with running an operation such as the Shotton surface mine are an absolute priority for us, and Banks is acknowledged as an industry leader when it comes to the investments we make and operational measures we put in place to ensure we live up to them.
“We carry out a wide range of training initiatives to make sure all our staff have the required skills and knowledge to keep both themselves and their workmates as safe as possible, and are proud to encourage the creation of a culture everyone looks out for each other.
“Mr Ludhra gave us a great deal of useful and positive feedback during his visit, and we’re pleased to have had the chance to show him some of the reasons why Banks has established such a strong reputation in our industry for the responsible way in which we set up every aspect of our operations.”