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07 Nov 2017

MPA Health and Safety Conference aims to reset industry agenda

A packed house of 270 delegates, representing 60 organisations, gathered at this year's MPA Health and Safety Conference and Awards which was sponsored by Industrial Diagnostics Company and hosted by BBC Presenter Sybil Ruscoe at 30 Euston Square on 2 November.

With the theme of Mind the Gap 'Admitting the truth...Addressing the realities', the morning's conference reflected on and sought to address one of the most challenging years on record, in terms of fatalities and incidents.

MPA Chairman, Martin Riley, Senior Vice President, Tarmac said:  "Today needs to be a seminal moment for the Association and, in turn, the industry. Today must be the day of change, when we change our conversation on health and safety and reset our agenda. If that happens we may be able to claim success, but only if we reverse current trends and we genuinely commit to achieving Zero Harm. We need to become less tolerant of hollow words, shallow commitments and lack of application. The unique role the MPA can play as 90% of the UK extractive and mineral product sector is our ability to mobilise mass delivery of change. I believe that the collective effort of members working constructively together with a rediscovered sense of urgency and real determination will be very powerful."

Against this backdrop, MPA Chief Executive, Nigel Jackson hosted an interactive session with delegates voting on representative statements taken from discussions with over 500 member employees, ranging from CEOs to plant operatives. The statements were related to the current negative trends being witnessed in the industry about:

  • Values, vision and standards.
  • Leadership.
  • Systems and processing.
  • Managing risk.
  • Communication.
  • Behaviour based safety.

The results will be used to help reset MPA's future conversations and direction. The conference speakers had been selected to complement the interactive session.

The morning's keynote conference speakers focussed on incident investigation and management, combined with addressing the realities of human error and risk management. These included Paul Difford, Neucom Director and Principal Investigator, Alan Millband, Partner from Howes Percival and Richard Boland, Head of Operations for HSE's Field Operations Division. In the first of three interactive panel sessions, these experts discussed what is holding us back sharing the early lessons from incidents, focussing on a number of key developments affecting the industry.

In the second session, John Johnson, Vice President, NSF Health Sciences Pharma Biotech shared his thoughts on 'Systems or Mindset? Which one drives human error reduction to best effect?' and how companies streamline and simplify complex processes and procedures to reduce cost, rework, rejects and human error. Phil Scott, Director of Safety and Security Chemical Industries Association, Darren Broadhead Director of Broadhead Consulting joined John for the second panel session, which considered why some organisations have so few unplanned events.

Thirdly, Paul Simpson, Council Member for the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, (IIRSM) delivered a talk entitled 'It's all about the risk - Safety Management or Risk Management'.

The afternoon marked the amazing innovation, ingenuity and sharing of best practice within the membership via the prestigious MPA Health and Safety Awards which attracted 138 entries from companies of all sizes and from all over the UK.

Nigel Jackson, MPA's Chief Executive said:

"The MPA Health and Safety Awards showcase and recognise the best in innovative ideas and best practices. Sharing these is an absolutely key part of our making the workplace safer and healthier, raising standards and improving the working experience."  

Julian Fisher, who served as an operational officer in the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS; commonly known as MI6), opened proceedings with a talk '007 A Licence to Manage Risk' where he talked about the parallels in his own work experience.

MPA's formal commitment to championing the mental health charity 'Mates in Mind' was marked by Corporate Responsibility Director at Volker Wessels UK, and champion of 'Mates in Mind', Adrian Shah-Cundy presenting the certificate for MPA becoming Business Champion to Kevin Stevens, MPA's Director of Health and Safety.  He said: "The MPA's extensive links, especially amongst SMEs, means that 'Mates in Mind' can reach even more workers who are in need."  

Recognising its open and positive culture of care, and the extent of employees' engagement throughout their workplace in making suggestions to improve safety, FM Conway were awarded the John Crabbe Memorial Trophy for 'outstanding excellence in health and safety'.

Acknowledging leadership, workforce engagement, and the application of these principles across all aspects of their business and links within the wider community, Singleton Birch was announced as the winner of the Sir Frank Davies Trophy.

Special awards were given to FM Conway for their work at Heathrow Asphalt to reduce fumes and particulates, Aggregate Industries at Darwen for their contribution to Bitumen/Asphalt/Contract Surfacing best practice and to Cemex UK Washwood for their contribution to Engineering best practice.

This Year's Winners Are:

  • John Crabbe Memorial Trophy for overall 'outstanding excellence in health and safety':
    Winner – FM Conway
  • The Sir Frank Davies Trophy:
    Winner – Singleton Birch
  • Bitumen; Asphalt; Contract Surfacing
    Winner – Tarmac
  • Worker Involvement:
    Winner – Hanson UK
  • Transport Initiatives:
    Winner – Colas
  • Occupational Health and Well Being:
    Winner – CPI Mortars Ltd
  • Contractor Safety:
    Winner -  Colas
  • Engineering Initiatives:
    Winner – CEMEX
  • Reducing Occupational Road Risk:
    Winner – TJ Transport
  • Behavioural Safety; Safety Culture; Leadership:
    Winner -  Francis Flower
  • MPA Special Award:
    Winners – FM Conway, Aggregate Industries, CEMEX

16 individuals were recognised for their personal health and safety contributions:


Graham Wood – CEMEX, Rugby Cement
Tom Dilworth – Tarmac, Thrislington Works


Andy Kitridge - Sibelco
Ian Ballard – Hanson


Paul Ray – Fitter Tarmac, Harper Lane
Phillip Weller - Maintenance Section Leader, Tarmac, Dolyhir Asphalt         
Dan Sylvester - Production Manager, Tarmac, Dolyhir Asphalt
Thomas Lloyd – Electrician, Tarmac, Dolyhir Asphalt
Jim Wood - Fitter, Tarmac, Clitheroe
John Capstick – Fitter, Tarmac, Clitheroe
Malcolm Baker - Fitter, Tarmac, Teesport      


Darrin Hewings – Sibelco, Bent Farm Quarry, Wallhill Lane
Will Lewis - Mechanical Fitter, Tarmac, Cement & Lime Barnstone
Adam Harrison - Mechanical Engineer, CEMEX, Rugby Cement
Colin Williamson - Area Fitter, Tarmac, Whitwell Quarry
Danny Osborne - Engineering Manager, Hanson, Ketton Cement Plant

Congratulations to all the award winners and runners up this year. MPA looks forward to receiving new award submissions in February 2018.

View all the videos from MPA's Health and Safety Conference and Awards here or our YouTube channel here.

Read tweets from the event via #HandS17 or on MPA's Twitter profile here. Our Twitter handle is:  @MineralProduct.