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Independent audits contribute to increased quarry safety

Updated:2009-09-18 15:21:02

The Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of South Africa (Aspasa) reports that it has noticed a number of benefits for local quarries that take part in health and safety and environmental audits.

The association has two sets of audits available to its members and reports that an audit, which is developed by the industry, for the industry, is more valuable in promoting responsibility in the quarrying sector than a generic audit developed by external companies.

Aspasa's health and safety audit, the Initiating Safety, Health, and Education (ISHE) audit and the environmental audit, the About Face RSA Audit, work compatibly to assess a number of factors relating to environmental conditions and health and safety. The association reports that the environmental standards at a quarry can affect the health and safety of workers.

The main environmental factors that are assessed are water, dust, noise, vibrations, transport and archaeology.

The ISHE audit requires managers to closely assess their quarry's processes and Aspasa avers that effective managers maintain an interest in the condition of their operations and the wellbeing of their staff.

The association also reports that quarry managers are legally liable for accidents that happen and that having a record of regular and reliable audits can contribute positively to the public image of an organisation.

Further, audits are beneficial as they make managers aware of weaknesses in their organisations and processes and provide them with the necessary informa- tion to focus on improvement efforts.

Aspasa says that the audits are con- ducted by experienced auditors and include candid and objective discussions between managers and auditors. Audits also include an assessment of the company's existing policies.

The audits are a combination of paperwork and visual assessment during a walk-through of the premises. The visual assessment contributes 60% of the total auditing process. The preparation of documents includes the compilation of legal documents, and the updating of procedures and appointments.

Further, Apasa reports, in its outlook for the building and construction industry, earlier this year, that a decline in activity in the building industry is spilling over to the civils industry.

Aspasa was formed in August 1990 and has a voluntary membership system. Members have to commit to the association's constitution, code of practice and environmental, health and safety policies.




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