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02.07.07
CSM safety research gains international acclaim

Academics from the University of Exeter's Tremough Campus are achieving international acclaim for developing a new approach to health and safety in the quarrying industry. Anam Parand and Dr Patrick Foster, both based at the University of Exeter's Camborne School of Mines (CSM) on the Tremough Campus, which is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative, have travelled to the other side of the world to present their award-winning research.

Anam Parand, an expert in workplace psychology, has been working with CSM mining engineering experts at six quarries across the UK. By spending time working with employees at all levels in each quarry, she has identified the root causes of the most common accidents and established new, bespoke approaches to tackling them. In one case, this resulted in a 95 per cent reduction in unsafe incidents.

Ms Parand and Dr Foster have presented their research findings at conferences in Australia, South Africa and Germany. They have also won the Health and Safety Best Practice Award from the Quarry Product Association and were awarded a certificate of achievement at the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents RyderMarsh Behavioural Safety Best Practice Awards.

"Quarrying is a growth industry in the UK with around 3,000 quarries in the UK, currently employing some 35,000 people," said Anam Parand. "It also has one of the highest rates of injury of any industry. There is an urgent need to improve safety in the sector and by working with employees at all levels to establish the root causes of accidents and come up with practical solutions we believe we can make a real difference."

This study is funded by the Minerals Industry Sustainable Technology Programme (MIST) and the Objective One Cornwall Research Fund. It is supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The minerals company, WBB Minerals Ltd, has offered its quarries to trial the behavioural safety process.

Andy Price, Integrated Systems Manager for WBB Minerals said: "This project has brought real benefits, not least the better team working that it has helped to inspire between operatives and management. What started as an operative led initiative soon became a valuable platform for two way discussion, problem solving and empowerment of the workforce on key health and safety issues. The systematic measurement of unsafe acts, relevant to each individual site, forms just the starting point. We look forward, in the next phase of the project, to widening the CSM methodology to include environment and quality risks alongside health and safety - a truly integrated approach."

CUC Executive Director, Dr Ian Tunbridge commented: "This is a great example of academic research leading to real advances in business. The new approach pioneered in Cornwall has the potential to help quarries become safer and ultimately more profitable. The presence of world class experts in the county also acts as a magnet for inward investment as businesses seek to tap into the wealth of specialist knowledge now held within the CUC partnership."

Ms Parand and Dr Foster now aim to have this research published in an academic journal and are also trialling the research at three more WBB Minerals quarry sites in Devon and East Anglia.

For further information contact Sarah Hoyle, Press Officer, University of Exeter on 01392 262062/07989 446920 or email s.hoyle@exeter.ac.uk.

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Editor's notes:

For more information on this project: www.quarrysafe.com/bsq/index.htm.

Camborne School of Mines (CSM) was founded in 1888 and became part of the University of Exeter in 1993. CSM has an international reputation for research and teaching related to the understanding and management of the Earth's natural processes, resources and the environment. Its portfolio of undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree programmes provide an excellent basis for careers, in the UK or overseas, within the Earth resources, civil engineering, environmental and energy sectors. The vast majority of CSM graduates are employed in areas related to their degree. CSM is based at the University of Exeter's Tremough Campus, near Penryn.

The £100 million Tremough campus is a Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative of which the University of Exeter and University College Falmouth are two of the founding partners. It is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council. Set in 70 acres of countryside, but close to the waterside towns of Penryn and Falmouth, the campus offers a lively student community. The University of Exeter now offers degrees in Biology, Cornish Studies, English, Geology, Geography, History, Law, Mining Engineering, Politics and Renewable Energy on its Tremough Campus, which has expanded rapidly as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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