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MPA Health and Safety Conference calls for reset industry agenda

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
[ Zoom ]
The FM Conway team with the John Crabbe Memorial Trophy for overall 'outstanding excellence in health and safety'

A packed house of 270 delegates, representing 60 organisations, gathered at the 2017 MPA Health and Safety Conference and Awards in London, sponsored by Industrial Diagnostics Company and hosted by BBC presenter Sybil Ruscoe. Guy Woodford reports.

With the theme of ‘Mind the gap: Admitting the truth.....addressing the realities’, the morning’s session at the MPA Health and Safety Conference and Awards 2017 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 relating to:

  • 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 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 factors preventing us from 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.

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MPA chairman Martin Riley, senior vice president Tarmac, gave a strong speech on the need for improved health and safety in the UK mineral products industry

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 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 was 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 the winner of the Sir Frank Davies Trophy.

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

The 2017 MPA Health and Safety Award winners were:

  • 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

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