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Working on Quarries - Health and Safety

Quarry work is still one of the most dangerous jobs to undertake, according to hse.gov.uk since 2000 over 3,500 people have been injured. That is why health and safety is imperative.

Health and Safety whilst working on quarries

There are many hazards to think about when working in a quarry, there are the slips and trips, working from height and working with heavy machinery. We will take a look at other risks which you will find mainly on the quarry site.

Hand Arm Vibration

Hand arm vibration is caused by the repetitive use of hand-held power tools, it can cause painful and disabling disorders either in the blood vessels, joints or nerves. Making sure you are aware of the early signs is paramount, and if you are an employer then making sure that you regularly log how much vibration exposure your employees has had.

The symptoms are:

  • Tingling and numbness in the fingers
  • Losing the ability to feel things
  • Fingers blanch (go white) and then become red and painful when recovering

You can find more in depth details about it from the dedicated section on the hse.gov.uk site.


Because quarry work can deal with dusts and vapours while mining and excavating rock. Because asthma can be caused simply by breathing in dusts or gases its important to know what the symptoms are to reduce the risk of occupational asthma.

The Symptoms:

  • Wheezing
  • Tight chest
  • Coughing
  • Rhinitis (runny nose)
  • Conjunctivitis

Read about occupational asthma in more depth on the hse.gov.uk site.

Noise On Quarries

Working in a noisy environment can have a detrimental effect on your hearing. Once your hearing has gone it cannot come back, that is why it is important to use the right equipment and follows the correct procedures while you can.

If you are worried that your hearing may be affected look out for the following symptoms:

  • Conversation is difficult
  • Family or guests notice the TV or radio is on
  • You have a ringing, buzzing or whistling sound in your ears

If you are worried about your hearing and it being an occupational hazard you can find out more including peoples own stories on the hse.gov.uk site.

Quarry Legislation

Because of how dangerous quarry work can be there has been a wealth of legislations and strategies put in place to ensure the safety and well being of everyone working in the industry.

You can read the Quarries Regulations 1999 on the legislation.gov.uk site, this came into effect on 1 January 2000. There is also the Approved Code of Practice "Health and Safety Quarries" which has all the relevant updates which clarify a few previously raised issues. 

This is not meant to be an exhaustive guide, and all information can be found in great detail on the hse.gov.uk website.

Photograph of Laura Holland

Author Bio -

Social Media and Web Content Coordinator, Jan 2014 - May 2015