Working to get it right
We have always been aware of the impact our operations can have, particularly when it comes to the communities around our sites. Through various measures we seek to minimise our impact, but that is not to say that we always get it right. We encourage liaison groups where possible to address concerns and all complaints are recorded and shared with managers to show external communication received.
During 2015, we received 31 complaints about our operations.
We report the complaints about our operations annually.
We encourage all our staff to report and record all complaints received. This gives us the opportunity to look for any patterns occurring at a particular site, with specific equipment or from particular areas within a community.
Looking through the data collected, we have selected three of our larger sites and show how they have been responding to their most significant complaints.
Bardon Hill Quarry – dust
Following several complaints from local residents about the dust found on their cars, the asphalt plant at Bardon Hill looked at its processes to see how the impact could be reduced.
Several new initiatives were introduced to try and reduce the occurrence:
- Water spray ststems and washing systems at the plant to supress dust
- Regular inspections of pipe work - keeping materials flowing and preventing spillages/ leaks
- Bespoke system designed to hold aggregates - requiring less cleaning, meaning less dust released into the air.
Although the situation has improved, the site is still recieving complaints about this issue.
Glensanda Quarry – noise
The management team at Glensanda Quarry has been working with the residents on the Isle of Lismore for several years, trying to understand the origins of noise which travels the 4km across Loch Linnie.
During 2009, members of the community and the local councillor were approached to set up recording equipment in their homes in order to identify the source of any noise. Following analysis of the recordings, one of the potential issues was deemed to be the gears on the wash plant operation. Even though these were not due to be replaced, it was obvious the noise levels had increased. These were changed and the original equipment sent to the manufacturer to deem whether any further maintenance should be undertaken to reduce the risk of it occurring again.
The quarry is also carefully selecting anchorages to be used in the loch to avoid the island being subject to low frequency noise from ships generators when at anchor and awaiting berthing. However, it is worthwhile to note that any noise created on site is more likely to be heard on Lismore when the weather is calm.
An open day was held on site for all Lismore residents when the quarry was in full operation for the residents to view the various environmental controls in place.
Croft Quarry – blasting
During the last couple of years, Croft Quarry has been ensuring that awkward corners are fully worked out meaning that blasting has occurred in areas of the quarry untouched for close to 15 years, which were even then being worked in the opposite direction.
The predominantly retired residents closest to this area were concerned by the effects as it was not something they had experienced since their houses were built in the 1970s. The dense clay soils made any effects feel stronger than they actually were, but the quarry set to work to reduce the impact on the neighbours.
A new approach was tested to measure the frequency of the vibrations recorded. The results of this enable design blasts that avoid certain delay patterns causing concern. The residents of the close were consulted and the results were found to be a vast improvement. The improvements were reported at the liaison meeting and the parish council were very complimentary of the endeavours of the quarry staff to minimise any effects.