Monday, 26 September 2016

Investing in a sustainable lime industry


Our lime quarries throughout New Zealand will meet the new health and safety requirements 2017 deadline, and we have confirmed our commitment to sustainable operations that regenerate the ground as we go.

Health and safety is more than putting high vis and hard hats on your staff says Craig Hendry, Lime Operations Manager, who is leading the recent upgrades to our lime quarry’s mobile plants and systems.

“In today’s industrial environment, health and safety is a highly involved part of the business and its value is limitless,” Craig says.

Re-investing in our quarry infrastructure also ensures that the we maintain a sustainable, long term, cost effective operation that is compliant and safe. That’s why we’re regenerating the land as we go, so we leave behind productive farmland when the quarry lifespan is reached.

As with all farming businesses, the 70-80 lime quarries scattered across New Zealand have been undergoing some changes in how they operate in line with the new health and safety regulations.

Work Safe now requires all quarry managers to renew their A or B grade Quarry Managers’ Qualification by January 2017, which involves completing a number of safety training courses and renewal of managers’ Certificate of Competence for surface mining (COC). The certificate shows that a manager has undertaken the relevant education and training, and meets the requirements for safe supervision of a quarrying operation.

Our quarry managers have completed the upgraded safety qualification, well ahead of the 2017 deadline. We’ve taken it further with an overhaul of how our quarries operate and investment in significant upgrades of mobile plant, areas of fixed plant, and management systems.

While all our quarry staff go through a base level of safety courses, we’re offering to put any staff through the manager’s course as part of our Quarry Cadetship Programme, in order to future proof our industry and we’ve had a number of staff put their hands up to go further.

Geraldine Lime Quarry Manager, Paul Johnston says his staff are now much more focused on safety and what’s required to operate robust safety management systems:

“The team have given me the thumbs up and are really proactive with health and safety here. Our radio mics are busy with staff communicating their movements around the quarry, they also love the new fit for purpose mobile plant, which has the added bonus of being a lot more fuel efficient than the old kit.”

For us, it’s about ensuring we continue to provide affordable quality lime products to our shareholders without harm coming to our staff or the environment.