x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ajman quarries shut down for violating safety rules

Two quarries in Ajman have been shut down for failing to observe regulations set by the Ministry of Environment and Water.

The quarries, in Masfout, were shut for three months and a month respectively, after failing to heed warnings about the amount of dust emitted from their operations. Courtesy Abu Dhabi government
The quarries, in Masfout, were shut for three months and a month respectively, after failing to heed warnings about the amount of dust emitted from their operations. Courtesy Abu Dhabi government

Two quarries in Ajman have been closed for failing to observe health and safety regulations.

The quarries, in Masfout, were shut for three months and a month respectively, after failing to heed warnings about the amount of dust emitted from their operations.

The excess dust was caused by a lack of maintenance of crushing machinery, conveyor belts and filter units. In addition to the dust, inspectors found other regulations had been breached, including a lack of warning signs and a failure to implement health and safety management guidelines.

Neither quarry will resume work until these problems are fixed, said Sultan bin Alwan, assistant undersecretary for external audit at the Ministry of Environment and Water.

Dubai's construction boom over the past decade has increased the demand for rock and gravel, which has led to an increase in the number of quarries.

Residents in mountainous villages and towns were not happy with the growth, believing the dust and noise from the quarries to be a public health hazard.

In 2008, the federal Government regulated the operation of quarries and limited their emissions of dust and pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Early ministry inspections found more than a third of quarries lacked pollution controls.

But as of October last year, only three out of 100 licensed quarries were found to have breached the rules.

vtodorova@thenational.ae