Health And Safety

The Irish Mining and Quarrying Society’s purpose of maintaining a high standard of conduct in the extractive industries is one of it five main objectives. The IMQS has a close and active partnership with the Health and Safety Authority which was established under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989.

The Society is a regular organiser of the bi-annual All-Island Quarry Safety Seminar and the All-Island Extractive Industries Health and Safety Seminar.

The IMQs is represented on the Quarry Safety Partnership which was established by the HSA in 2013. The group meets quarterly to look at approaches to issues affecting the quarry industry and the people working in it.

The IMQS is a national association member of the European Federation of Explosives Engineers (EFEE) ones of whose primary aims is the promotion of safety, health, environment and security in the field of explosives technology.

The All Ireland and UK Mine Rescue Competition started out as a competition between Irish base metal mines in the 1960s and 1970s. The competition now includes mines from Ireland, the UK and Portugal.

Regulations & Law

The Irish Mining and Quarrying Society maintains enormous respect for the Irish regulations and laws that govern the extractive industries. Indeed, in recent years, they have been heavily involved in the development and production of these policies.

Due to the nature of mining and quarrying and the construction sub-sectors involved, health and safety is of primary concern amongst all our members, both individual and corporate. The IMQS is eager to promote the industry in a positive light for the sake of all our stakeholders, public and private, member and non-member.

Our members are active participants in agencies that effect change in Ireland. For example, Sean Finlay, a past president, is a Ministerial appointee to the Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which is at the front line of environmental protection and policing in Ireland. IMQS, in its capacity as a member of the Quarries Safety Steering Committee, was also instrumental in the development of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Quarries) Regulations 2008, SI28 2008.

Quarry Safety Week

Health and safety is the number one priority in the quarrying industry. Quarry work involves a number of hazards and risks; by identifying these risks, it allows mitigation measures to be put in place to ensure all round safety at work.

The industry works closely with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to continuously improve the health and safety measures and outcomes; for example HSA Site Inspections, Quarry Safety Week and regular mandatory training for all employees.

Mine Rescue

Mine Rescue is the practical procedure in mining, in which personnel wear breathing apparatus and use special equipment to save lives, and to recover property in case of an underground emergency (Ontario Mine Rescue, 2012)

Blockmaking Initiative 2018

Update June 2018


The Blockmaking Initiative commenced in 2018

A proforma was agreed between the HSA and the ICF as a guide for Inspectors and for Block Manufacturers so that Inspections would be consistent.

Inspectors received training in January 2018 in Blockmaking operations

Two workshops were held in Athlone and Tipperary for ICF members on April 26th and May 3rd with in excess of 110 attendees

To date 14 inspections have been carried out and 2 prohibition Notices were issued at one location for serious safety breaches

Inspections have identified the following issues at one or more locations

  • Block making machine interlocks not operational, emergency stops were damaged. Block strapper bumper bar was removed. (2 x PN)
  • Switches and interlocks on a McGirr Blockmaker required to be repaired immediately and it was agreed that the machine not to be used until this is done.
  • Stacking strapper was in use and there was no Risk Assessment for it
  • Standard Operating Procedures should be referenced in Risk Assessments
  • The Operator was unsure of the safe working load accommodating load centre on grab/skip
  • Whip checks not in place or unsafe alternative used
  • 2 tamper head pins were on order for an older block making machine following workshop, non-proprietary pins had been in use
  • Tamper head bars not proprietary,
  • Ladder access to be addressed.
  • two keys in use on block maker, one for engine and other for interlocks which were bolted together advised that something more permanent needs to be put in place

At some locations there appears to have been few if any compliance issues and training was delivered or planned for operatives

Industries We Serve

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