Quarry safety campaign

Ewan Bennett (left) and Scott McDonald from the Health and Safety department of Ethiebeaton Quarrywere pictured on Friday as the company launched it's initiative to inform the piblic of the dangers which could be encountered in a quarry.
Ewan Bennett (left) and Scott McDonald from the Health and Safety department of Ethiebeaton Quarrywere pictured on Friday as the company launched it's initiative to inform the piblic of the dangers which could be encountered in a quarry.

Scottish quarry operators have joined forces with Mineral Products Association (MPA) Scotland as part of its annual ‘Stay Safe’ campaign.

And on Friday they launched a campaign to deter young people from entering quarries without authorisation.

Mark MacPherson, quarry manager at Ethiebeaton, explained the dangers.

He stated: ”Our message at Ethiebeaton is that quarries are not playgrounds and that there are dangers all over the site.

“We know that young people are attracted to the lagoons and the rock faces. However, the lagoons are not like swimming pools. They tend to be very deep and very cold which even the best of swimmers would have difficulty in.

“The rock faces tend to be very steep and high as well as unstable, so climbing them or even venturing too close to the edge is extremely dangerous.

“The main message is, unless you are invited into a quarry for a specific purpose then stay safe and stay out!”

In 2012, four teenage boys were drowned in disused quarries across the UK. Over the last the bank holiday weekend, a teenage boy and the man who was trying to rescue him from a lake in a disused quarry were both killed.

All too often, these accidents occur because youngsters do not appreciate the potential hazards involved. They and their friends perceive their activities as harmless fun until they get into difficulties.

Scotland has over 200 active quarries producing over 28 million tonnes of aggregates per year and many older workings. The ‘Stay Safe’ campaign will continue over the summer with school presentations and organised quarry visits across Scotland.

An April survey by the MPA showed that over 40 per cent of the quarries which responded in Scotland, primarily those located near urban conurbations, had experienced problems with trespass in the previous 12 months.

While teenagers are the greatest cause for concern, many quarries also reported adult trespass. The MPA survey also analysed the main motivations for trespass.

The most common was theft, usually of cables and fuel, at 55 per cent. Other reasons included recreational activities such as walking (40 per cent), trail and quad bike riding (23 per cent), swimming (22 per cent) wildlife spotting (15 per cent) and rock climbing (eight per cent).