Speaking at the recent ASPASA ISHE Awards held on 13 April 2022, Paul Mardon, deputy general secretary: Strategy and Sustainability at Solidarity, reiterated the importance of good health and safety management practices in the workplace, especially in the quarrying and mining environment where serious risks of occupational ill-health and injury are prevalent.
While compliance to health and safety regulations is of paramount significance, Mardon stresses that it is much more than just a box-ticking exercise. “Health and safety management is about ensuring that employers and employees comply with their responsibilities to provide and maintain a healthy and safe workplace for all,” he says.
Although the primary responsibility lies with the employer, Mardon says it is important for all stakeholders to work together to achieve a common goal. “Everybody at the workplace is vulnerable. Health and safety management should therefore be a shared responsibility; it should be a firm foundation for cooperation in the workplace. It is imperative that we all accept mutual responsibility and work together to ensure a healthy and safe environment where every worker goes back home safely after every shift,” he says.
Good health and safety management practices also ensure protection of neighbouring communities, members of the public and the environment from the quarrying and mining activities, he adds.
“Good health and safety management has economic value to the stability of the business. A healthy and safe place translates into reduced worktime and production losses. It also prevents the loss of trained personnel and protects the employer’s reputation,” adds Mardon.