The first charges were laid against a quarry under regulations 16 and 21 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2016 back in September.
McPherson Contractors found itself in the Hamilton District Court and fined $11,250 following a WorkSafe inspection in 2018 that found its quarry manager on site did not hold a current certificate of competence (CoC).
The regulation carries a maximum penalty of $50,000.
McPherson Contractors operates an alluvial pumice and sand extraction process sold for house and building foundations, and road infill.
WorkSafe’s chief inspector, Extractives Paul Hunt says regulations clearly state that any quarrying operation requires a manager with either an A grade, B Grade or Site Specific CoC dependent on the nature of the site.
“Without a manager with a current CoC, McPherson Contractors would be unable to identify the risks and control them.
IF YOU ARE OPERATING A QUARRY WITH NO COC IN PLACE, THE TIME HAS PASSED WHERE YOU CAN EXPECT TO GET AWAY WITH IT
“In a high risk industry such as extractives, harm has the very real potential to occur and by failing to meet guidelines the company put workers at a very real risk.
“Any mining or quarrying operator should take this as a warning to have the correct credentials or face the risk of prosecution.”
As is well known, any quarry operation requires a manager with either an A grade, B Grade or Site Specific CoC, depending on the site’s size and nature of operation.
Paul Hunt told the July QuarryNZ conference that WorkSafe has records of 1083 operating quarries with about 100 operating without an appointed manager, 200 without a CoC.
“If you are operating a quarry with no CoC in place, the time has passed where you can expect to get away with it,” he says.
This article was first published in the December 2019 issue of Quarrying and Mining magazine.