The ceremony is the premier event for recognising exceptional health and safety practices within the mineral products industry, and showcases the steps being taken by businesses to move closer to the ultimate shared target of zero harm.
Aggregate Industries was recognised in two areas: the Bitumen-Asphalt-Contract Surfacing category for its Automated Inspection and Testing (AIT); and the Engineering Initiatives category, for addressing the issue of operatives having to enter a confined space in order to clean down concrete mixer drums.
AIT sees all pavers, rollers and survey vehicles fitted with the latest technology including GPS, infra-red sensors and a data recording unit – all of which will be used to automatically capture high quality data before, during and after the surfacing process. This makes the road surfacing process – including surface texture and rolling straight edge testing of the completed pavement – immeasurably safer by removing technicians from data capture altogether. This in turn allows data capture operatives to be redeployed to other contracting areas, addressing an industry-wide skills shortage.
Neil Leake, National Technical Manager at Aggregate Industries, said: “Receiving this award for AIT is further proof that Aggregate Industries is investing and innovating to create a safe environment for staff. We’re very proud of the system not only because it benefits our own workforce, but has the potential to make a widespread contribution to the improved health and safety of the entire industry.”
For the Engineering Initiatives category, Aggregate Industries was commended for the way it has tackled the health and safety issues faced when operatives clean down concrete mixer drums. Traditionally, these drums are cleaned from within by an operative using pneumatic tools.
By utilising an ergonomically designed, ultra-high pressure pneumatic wash-down system, producing up to 35,000 PSI of air flow with a relatively low amount of water, operatives no longer have to enter the confined space to clean the drum. In turn, this means they no longer have to use pneumatic vibration tools to remove cured concrete and no longer have to deal with risks like respirable silica, hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), machinery entrapment and hazardous substance exposure. It also reduces the clean-down time from an hour to around 40 minutes.
Jason Smith, Regional Factory Manager for Concrete Products at Aggregate Industries said: “The health and safety of our operatives is our absolute priority. By removing a large portion of the risk associated with cleaning down mixing equipment, we’re ensuring that our workforce stays happy and healthy.
“Receiving these awards is recognition that Aggregate Industries is maintaining its status as an industry leader in health and safety, and that we are committed to upholding the highest standards through constant innovation.”