Jan 22 bulletin

In the News Elsewhere

A quarrying company fined £300k after blasting operation put workers at risk

The company has been fined for safety breaches after a fly rock projection event occurred during the use of explosives. A blast at a quarry in North Wales, resulted in rocks being ejected outside of the danger zone,
The HSE’s investigation into the incident found that fly rock from the blasting operation, had landed approximately 270m away, punctured the roof of an occupied work shed, and put a hole in the outside pane of the occupied manager’s office skylight window.

HSE found that there were poor stemming practices: The written specification was prepared after the firing of the blast, and an inadequate danger zone was in place. As a result there was a projection of fly rock outside of the danger zone that caused a quarry operative to run for cover and put other employees at risk when the roof of the shed they were working in was punctured.

After the hearing, HSE commented: “Blasting operations at quarries are inherently high risk, and these risks must be rigorously controlled by good explosives engineering practice and in accordance with legal requirements.
“It is unacceptable that employees, and potentially members of the public, be put at serious risk of being hit by rocks that could easily lead to death or serious injury.”