Founded over 25 years ago by quarrying industry role players with the aim of establishing a single entity to promote the industry, Aspasa was tasked with formalising the industry and driving the implementation of rigid standards for both environmental and health and safety. These programmes are ongoing and are updated on a regular basis in terms of legislation which is constantly changing; all of which has resulted in a significant improvement in member operations.
Now, Aspasa has identified the gap that exists in our industry in terms of training workshops and skills upliftment and is spending a lot of time and resources in promoting effective and valued training to its members. Since the beginning of this year, it has run several very successful workshops, some of these so well attended that Aspasa has been forced to move to larger premises for the day.
All the Aspasa training workshops come complete with course material such as the Mine Health and Safety Act Regulations. At the moment, Aspasa is waiting for the 13th Edition. This edition is invaluable in empowering managers to understand the law.
“We gather a lot of information during the course of our About Face and ISHE programs and have identified some of the critical areas that need support training. The main focus areas are crushing, health and safety, environmental, risk assessments, explosive management, transport, lockout procedures, supervisory training, first aid, HIRA, SHE incident investigation and safety, among many others,” Aspasa’s executive director Nico Pienaar tells MQ.
This year already, it has held several very successful courses with excellent feedback from attendees.
Upcoming training workshops are:
- Construction materials crushing and screening: Presented by OPSMIN’s Alan Fletcher. The course covers crushing (effects of rock characteristics, reduction ratio, crushing stages); liner selection (jaws and cones); and screens and feeders (vibrating feeders, selection calculations, vibrating movement, factors for screen selection).
This course will run on May 11 in the Western Cape and May 18 in the Eastern Cape.
- Health & safety and fatigue management: Presented by Marius van Deventer and Alex Raymond, this course was run successfully in the Western Cape last month and will be held in KwaZulu-Natal on June 13. The workshop covers safety and good industrial relations; good practices; rules to live by (prevent fatalities); risk assessments; safety is no accident; what safety really is; checklists; 10 things about safety that only a handful of people know; fatigue management and codes of practice.
- Lockouts: This workshop is presented by Tinus Jacobs and covers the following: Why lockout is important; obedience to order; health and safety specifications; purpose of lockout; locking out medium voltage; legal and other requirements; and lockout of TMM equipment.
The dates are: April 12, Gauteng; June 6, Western Cape; June 29 KwaZulu-Natal; July 11, Northern Cape.
“We want to enable our members; we want them to be competent in what they do and we are in the process of establishing committees to deal with transport, the PDS issue, environmental, government liaison, etc; all of these headed up by senior knowledgeable and well-respected people in the industry,” Pienaar says. “Our aim is to underpin standards within the industry while simultaneously improving workforce skills.”
“The often-run courses such as various health and safety, environment, risk, transport, quality, legal and HR/IR courses will continue to be held, but the number and content of the courses will be updated regularly in line with new requirements.”
There will also be vocational-type training in the form of study tours, financial management for quarry managers, how to vet contractors, supply and control basics, construction material sampling and testing, operating mobile machinery and specifying the most correct, cost-effective fleets of equipment within the quarry environment.
New members find a voice
Pienaar tells MQ that companies that are not represented in their own industries are seeking support from Aspasa. “Following intensive negotiations, we have agreed to accept membership applications from key salt, dimension stone, rubble and ash suppliers; so that these companies are recognised as quality firms that comply with the legal requirements, best practices, our structured health and safety standards, as well as environmental management requirements in terms of legislation.”
The new Associate members will also benefit from other services offered to members in terms of skills development and training, representation in various mining, legislation and government bodies, and full representation on the Chamber of Mines.
“This effectively gives them a voice to be reckoned with on all levels, with their challenges and concerns taken to role players within the industry,” he says. “By complying with our strict standards and legal compliances, they are undertaking to set themselves apart from less professional companies who do not uphold similarly high operational principles.
“Salt and dimension stone and other mining operations are similar enough in size to apply Aspasa’s best practices and standards. Skills development and people management within the industry can now be addressed through our programmes; so it makes sense to allow these members to benefit from our industry-leading initiatives.”
Another new Associate Member is a recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) handler specialising in the handling, management and crushing of both construction and demolition waste and concrete waste.
The only requirement Aspasa has is that these operations must be lawful operations and the Association is working on its Constitution to allow for further expansion.
“Despite catering for this slightly different membership, our operation remains exactly the same and our name will be unchanged. Aspasa is well known throughout Southern Africa and globally, and is synonymous with quality suppliers of sand, aggregates and now sales and dimension stone, among others,” he adds.
The Aspasa Health & Safety and Environmental awards will take place on April 21, at the IoQ/Aspasa conference in KwaZulu-Natal.
On the health and safety side, awards will be presented to:
- Top Performer 2016;
- Top Independent Performer 2016;
- Consistency in achieving Showplace 5 years running;
- Most Improved Operations 2016;
- Safety Manager’s award for Outstanding Commitment;
- Health and Safety Representative;
- Safety Practitioner’s award for Excellent Performance;
- Management Safety Commitment;
- Senior Management Commitment to H&S;
- Best Operations Manager; and
- H&S Service Provider Excellence.
Environmental awards will go to:
- Top Performer 2016;
- Top Performer First Runner-up 2016;
- Top Performer Independent Quarries 2016;
- Top Performer First Runner-up Independent Quarries;
- Top Performing Group 2016;
- Top Performer Non-quarrying;
- Environmental Excellence 2016;
- Best Physical Conditions; and
- Most Improved Operation.
A new award with be the Aspasa Aggregate Champion for 2016.
Special mention will also be given to operations which have shown enthusiasm as well as to individuals who have gone the extra mile.
Report by Dale Kelly