Abstract

Abstract

The paper discusses the requirements of the Quarries Regulations 1999 and suggests practical techniques that can be used to identify, evaluate and record hazards on quarry rock faces in strong rock. An attempt is made to explain, clarify and simplify the terminology and techniques involved in hazard and risk assessment where they relate to quarry excavations, and present a method of risk evaluation that is transparent, practical and does not rely on complex analytical techniques or probability analysis. In the system, single hazards are identified by a hazard appraisal and the danger to health and safety is evaluated in terms of a hazard level. This hazard level allows hazards to be ranked according to the seriousness of the danger and significant hazards identified. Where multiple hazards are present a hazard rating for the face can be calculated. Significant hazards are then separately evaluated by a geotechnical assessment and a risk rating is estimated by additionally considering exposure to the risks. Risk mitigation actions can be identified by taking into account the nature of the hazard and the risk rating. The two-stage system described is considered to satisfy the core requirements of the Quarries Regulations where the hazard appraisal is performed using competent judgement and the geotechnical assessment using expert judgement to form the basis of a practical and effective method of risk evaluation and management for rock faces in quarries. Other applications are coastal cliffs, road and rail cuttings, and general surface mining. Although a summary of the system was presented at the Extractive Industry Geology Conference in Bath in 2000, the full system has not until now been presented for publication because of commercial implications. The system as described here has been in use in hard rock excavations over a period of 10 years.

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