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11. Where the way in which the quarry has been developed makes either of the above methods impracticable, then any alternative method will need to be based on a
Geotechnical Assessment which justifies the chosen method of working. This may identify the need for more specialist plant and associated operator competencies, and will almost certainly require greater managerial and workforce involvement in planning and monitoring the chosen method.

12. This guidance cannot deal adequately with all the complexities that the Geotechnical Assessment might identify, or the precautions that the adopted methods might need to cover, but the following summary suggests possible broad scenarios that may arise:

  • The Geotechnical Assessment, or routine inspections (i.e. inspections in accordance with the written scheme required by Regulation 12 of The Quarries Regulations 1999), identify that no face maintenance is necessary (at least in the short term) and face operations can continue.
  • the Geotechnical Assessment, or routine inspections, identify that face maintenance is necessary, the existing plant on site does not have sufficient reach from below and from a safe position to undertake this, but plant with sufficient reach from a safe position can be hired in to undertake the work;
  • The Geotechnical Assessment, or routine inspections, identify that face maintenance is necessary, but the quarry operator is not able to access plant with sufficient reach from below and from a safe position to undertake the work. Where this occurs, face maintenance may be undertaken from the crest in accordance with a procedure detailed in the ‘Excavations and Tips Rules’ supported by a Geotechnical Assessment. A key requirement of this procedure will be the identification of a safe stand-off zone at the crest and toe to prevent unauthorised access into these zones, and the full involvement of all relevant workers. This method should be the exception due to the additional risks which have to be controlled and, where practicable, the quarry design should address how the above alternative methods (see paragraph 8(a) and (b)) can be implemented in accordance with documented timescales.

13. Any decisions taken must be consistent with the ‘Excavations and Tips Rules’, communicated to the relevant workers, and the quarry operator must provide sufficient
managerial/supervisory attention to monitor the working methods.