A variety of dangers such as slips, trips and falls, as well as musculoskeletal injuries and exposure to flash fire and ARC, are present for employees in the aggregates industry. Maintaining and operating a variety of heavy-duty machinery and equipment, as well as doing their jobs in challenging environments including confined spaces and bad weather, are common requirements for workers.

Respirable dust may be released during processing, handling and use of natural aggregates, particularly through crushing, drilling, cutting, loading and unloading of bulk aggregates, or if the aggregate is supplied as a fine powder. If inhaled in excessive quantities over a prolonged period, respirable dust can constitute a long-term health hazard. Dusts containing Respirable Crystalline Silica (quartz) present a greater hazard. Long-term exposure to respirable dust can lead to respiratory system damage and disease. Respirable crystalline silica has been associated with the lung disease silicosis.

In an especially noisy industry and environment, quarrying for materials can lead to hearing damage for workers over prolonged periods of exposure, with the loud noise of machinery a near-constant soundtrack. This can naturally lead to hearing problems such as tinnitus, noise-induced hearing loss or, in severe cases, deafness.


Quarrying remains a dangerous industry in which to work and since the year 2000 nearly 3,500 workers have reported an injury to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, 29 of which were fatal. The difference between an accident causing life-threatening injuries and minor injuries can often be making sure that the workforce is equipped with the correct PPE, and providing such equipment requires a careful risk assessment. For example, consideration needs to be given to questions such as is the PPE appropriate for the risks present; is it appropriate for the conditions in which it is to be used; will it help to prevent or control the risk without increasing the overall level of risk and can it be adjusted to fit the wearer correctly?

Partnering with a specialist fully managed service provider is essential to mitigating these risks and ensuring your employees are safe. Please feel free to contact us below to organise an initial consultation meeting.


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