Health Safety

The AQA strongly supports the new health and safety requirements being introduced by the Government. Our industry wants to see its workers return home safely every day.
Achieving this is no easy task. Our industry was lightly regulated for many years and there are new, demanding training requirements, even for industry veterans who want to retain their Certificates of Competence (required to operate a quarry.) Many smaller quarries, which pose some of the greatest health and safety risks, are not members of the AQA. We are working with WorkSafe, the Health and Safety Council for Mining/Extractives – MinEx, our industry training organisation, MITO and other organisations to help start bringing the necessary changes into practice.


MinEx is the National Health & Safety Council for the New Zealand Mining and Quarry Industry. It coordinates and corrals industry views and feedback into submissions on legislation, regulations, codes, training, qualifications, guidance documents and other policy and technical issues important to safety in our sector. It develops tools such as the small mines and quarries H&S system toolkit to assist small operators improve their H&S performance. MinEx also provides free advice to quarry and mine companies on H&S improvement, legislation,codes and guidelines. If you have any queries relating to these topics email, head over to the MinEx website.


There are smaller operations at the margins of quarrying. While there are around 1100 registered quarries, it is estimated there are as many or more quarrying operations which are not registered. These can pose particular health and safety risks. MinEx has put together a self-test assessment on whether you are operating a quarry; if you are, it requires a Code of Compliance. 

There are many instances across New Zealand where companies are engaged in activities that fall under the definition of Quarry Operations as defined in the 16 December 2013 amendment to the Act. Those operations that fall under these regulations are subject to a number of codes, guidelines and regulations that companies need to be aware of and to follow.


Operating Quarries have many obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. There are many benefits to working in the quarry industry, to get more of a feel for what it is like, visit NZ Careers


A health and safety plan for the safety of staff and quarry visitors is the responsibility of the company, and implementation is the responsibility of every person on the site. If you are operating a registered quarry then holding a Certificate of Competence is essential. For more details on applying for a CoC, visit WorkSafe


  • Workplace exposure standards and biological exposure indices 2020  WorkSafe guidelines intended to be used as guidelines for people qualified in occupational health practice.
  • Review December 2019 of all fatal accidents in Queensland mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019 – Dr Sean Brady.
  • The potential for worker exposure to crystalline silica is widespread within mining and quarrying. Very fine Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) is particularly harmful to workers. It can be generated during drilling, blasting, crushing, cutting and transporting. The attached document is helpful information prepared by Dr Mary Obele, Occupational and Environmental Physician, and a GP. You can also find this and other guidelines on the MinEx website.
  • The Good Practice Guidelines provide the first health and safety document specifically for the quarrying and surface mining sector. The Good Practice Guidelines were developed by WorkSafe and reviewed by an industry team, including representatives from all sectors of the mining and quarrying industry with a mix of small and large operations to ensure the best technical and operational knowledge input into the guidelines. It provides guidance through text, photos and graphics on all aspects of operating safely.
  • There is a Pocket Guide alternative to the full 262 page Guidelines. You can request copies from WorkSafe Copies of the Good Practice Guide and Pocketbooks available on request from WorkSafe – 0800 030 040 or



Aggregates are the most consumed bulk product in the world after water. New Zealand uses 9-10 tonnes of aggregate every year for each adult and child.


To build an average house, you need about 250 tonnes of aggregate - for use in concrete, asphalt, mortar and building products.


The quarry industry is committed to working alongside local communities and follows stringent planning, environmental and operating conditions.