CoalImP - Secure and Affordable Energy for the UK

CoalImP Health and Safety Management Committee

Health & Safety should be the first consideration in any business, especially one that operates in a potentially hazardous environment. The coal mining industry is indeed one such environment and, as such, puts Health & Safety at the top of its agenda.

In 1991 Coalpro (Confederation of Coal Producers) was formed as a body to represent the UK’s coal producers, mainly as a lobbying organisation. As Coalpro developed, its members began to recognise the importance of a forum to discuss Health and Safety issues across the industry.

By the early 2000’s the committee included members from all the major coal producers as well as representatives from smaller companies together with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Over the past 15 years its breadth of membership has increased to include not only producers but suppliers and training providers as well. A seminal moment was the tragic death of two Scottish Coal employees at the Pennyvenie opencast site in February 2007, at which time the Coalpro Health and Safety Management Committee realised that a more open approach to Health and Safety across the industry had to be adopted, to prevent another tragedy like this occurring.

Whilst the coal industry has reduced in size over the last 25 years, its health and safety record has continued to improve. In 2015, due to the reducing numbers of UK coal producers, Coalpro as a standalone organisation was no longer viable. Recognising the importance of having a voice for the coal industry as well as the importance of a forum of similar companies to discuss health and safety issues Coalpro merged with CoalImp to become the Association of Coal Importers and Producers (CoalImP).

The current Health and Safety Management Committee meets three times a year at locations across the United Kingdom to discuss any significant safety issues that have occurred in the intervening period. These include accidents, near misses and dangerous occurrences. Issues are discussed in an open forum where views and information can be shared so that others can learn from these incidents. This also helps to identify common problems which can then be addressed as a group.

Out of such discussions the CoalImP Health and Safety Management Committee has been able to produce guidance on various subjects including the publication of various documents through QNJAC (Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee). These documents are available free from the QNJAC website and contributions include guidance on: -

CoalImP is committed to Target Zero – Zero Accidents and Zero Harm – and to further this has looked at other ways to spread the Health and Safety Message.

As well as the Health and Safety Management Committee, the member companies are all committed to Workforce Engagement, and three times a year facilitate a meeting between the various companies’ Safety Representatives. This provides another forum for Health and Safety concerns to be discussed and the views of the workforce taken back to the Health and Safety Management Committee so that their views can be heard.

The current members of the Health and Safety Management Committee, and the committee’s representation at other groups include:

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