UK: New Pilough Quarry fined for safety failings

A Derbyshire, England, quarrying company has been fined for safety failings after suffering a significant failure of a quarry face.

When the failure occurred, the office that was situated at the top of the quarry slid, with the ground underneath it to the bottom.

North Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how, in early January 2014, New Pilough Quarry suffered a significant face failure that was not reported to the Health and Safety Executive under Reporting of Industrial Diseases, Dangerous Occurrences Regulations  2013.

Prior to the 2013 Christmas shutdown, the Quarry Operator identified surface cracks in the superficial deposit of the southern face. At this point the Quarry Operator should have involved their geo technical specialist so that remedial action could have been taken which may have involved moving the office and machinery to a place of safety.

The failure was that the Quarry Operator did not involve their geo technical specialist when they had changed the design of the quarry and also when they identified the surface crack in the quarry top of the southern face.

HSE Inspector, Richard Noble, said: “Had the quarry been properly managed in accordance with the legislation, this event could have been avoided. It is fortunate that the incident occurred during the Christmas shut down. Had it occurred during a normal working day, people may have been in the office area and they could have been killed or seriously injured.”

On 22 July 2015, Block Stone Limited was fined a total of £14,000 and ordered to pay £16,333 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 30: Quarries Regulations 1999 and Regulation 7: Reporting of Industrial Diseases, Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

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