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The requirement for “design” forms a central tenet of the Quarry Regulations 1999 (1) (The term design is used more than 60 times in the Approved Code of Practice) 

It is emphasised in Regulation 6 p.1 

Regulation 6: General duties of the operator 

(1) It shall be the duty of the operator of every quarry to take the necessary measures to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the quarry and its plant are designed, constructed, equipped, commissioned, operated and maintained in such a way that persons at work can perform the work assigned to them without endangering their own health and safety or the health and safety of others. 

And the subsequent guidance note 32 

Regulation 6 is the underpinning requirement of these Regulations. It is intended to secure a co-ordinated, proactive approach to the management of health and safety, which ensures that risks are properly controlled. 

In particular in part vi of the Regulations the operator is given an absolute duty to ensure the design of excavations and tips avoid placing any person at risk. 

Regulation 30: General duty to ensure safety of excavations and tips 

The operator shall ensure that excavations and tips are designed, constructed, operated and maintained so as to ensure that - 

(a) instability; or 

(b) movement, 

which is likely to give rise to a risk to the health and safety of any person is avoided. 

The design is essential so that it can be risk assessed for hazards prior to its implementation and all risks managed as development proceeds. It may be possible to design out a significant hazard as defined. 

Other regulations such as The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (2) and Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (3) also emphasise the requirement for design. 

It is the Operator's duty to ensure the design is in place. 

Design is essentially a process not a product and it is the detail of this process that will provide evidence that the operation meets accepted good practice and is compliant with the requirements of regulations. 

The flow chart provides a possible outline of this process.


(1) QR 1999 Link available to purchase or download 

(2) Working at Height Link 

(3) See Appendix 1 “Which regulations to apply?”