A quarrying firm (Breedon Trading Ltd) has been fined following for safety breaches after a dangerous incident following one of the blasting operations on site.
The court heard that on the 15th of January 2020, a blast at a site in North Wales resulted in rocks being blown out and putting the workers in the vicinity of the blast at serious risk of injury. The flyrock from the blasting operation landed roughly 270 metres away from the initial blast area and punctured the roof of the work shed with employees inside.
The court determined that it was reasonably practicable for the firm to expand the danger zone thus reducing the risk to employees working on the site. The firm could then have cleared the danger zone and increased the quality and quantity of stemming for the explosives in the blast holes.
Breedon Trading Ltd of Pinnacle House, Breedon Quarry, Breedon on the Hill, Derby pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by virtue of the Quarries Regulations 1999, regulation 25.
The company has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £2,534.80 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE’s Adrian Jurg, HM Specialist Inspector of Quarries, 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.”