Safety Award

The IMA-Europe Health & Safety Award rewards innovative member initiatives enhancing health and safety performance at the workplace. As such, the Award Scheme promotes the sharing of good practices, and supports the IMA Target Zero Injury initiative.






In 2013, IMA-Europe launched a sector-wide commitment on health and safety at the workplace - the IMA Target Zero Injury initiative. The IMA Health & Safety Award was created to stimulate the exchange of good practices within the sector and help the companies to reach the IMA Target Zero Injury objectives:

  1. A 50% reduction in the IMA LTIFR by 2016
  2. A further 50% reduction by 2020 

The IMA Health & Safety Award is attributed by a panel of three experts and the Award Ceremony takes place at the occasion of the biannual IMA Europe Conference.

In 2014, Awards were issued in the categories: Machinery innovation, Management and workers involvement, and Injury prevention programme. 

Since 2016, one Award has been submitted on "Injury prevention and health protection".



2018 Award for Health & Safety
Sibelco Minerales Arcos Traffic Management Plan

Sibelco Minerales – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2018 Award for Health & Safety with the project “Arcos Traffic Management Plan”

Context: One of the main Health and Safety risks on Sibelco’s Arcos site comes from mobile equipment, due to the number of silo trucks, lorries, heavy and light vehicles, etc. moving around the plant. This is a common risk of all Sibelco sites, so a guideline explaining how to develop a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) was created under the “Going for Zero” safety program in 2015.
Outcome: As part of the recent project to erect a new calcination plant at Arcos, different actions were taken to create new pedestrian ways and re-organize the traffic routes, separating completely workers and vehicles, and eliminating traffic risks much closer to 100%. Throughout this process, Sibelco has involved representatives from the front-line workforce at every stage. In the context of “Going for Zero”, the steering committee for the project is a great example of a “Safety Team”. Sibelco achieved in Arcos a reduction of incidents related to pedestrians and the avoidance of risks associated with lorries loading the products to transport them to the customers. Also, internal and external workers’ behaviours improved.

2018 JURY

Kris De Meester
Belgian Employers Federation

Kris De Meester works for the Belgian Employers Federation and is the Chair of the Health and Safety Committee of Business Europe (European employers association).

Mark Ellis
Industrial Minerals Association - North America (IMA-NA)

Mark Ellis is the President of the Industrial Minerals Association - North America (IMA-NA) and has a long experience in health & safety matters. IMA-NA is also organizing safety awards.

Mr. Ellis began his career as an attorney with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, serving in both its Office of Administrative Law Judges and its Office of General Counsel. As Senior Counsel to the American Mining Congress (known today as the National Mining Association), he represented the U.S. domestic mining industry before Congress, executive departments, and the federal courts on occupational health, safety, and industrial relations issues.  Prior to joining IMA-NA, Mr. Ellis served as Special Assistant and senior policy advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. Mr. Ellis is a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law and its College of Business Administration. He and his family reside in Arlington, Virginia. 

Sylvain Lefebvre

Sylvain Lefebvre is Deputy General Secretary of industriAll European Trade Union, which represents 7.1 million members across Europe in the chemical, energy, glass, metal, mining, textile and allied sectors. 
His responsibilities include the chemical, energy and glass industries on sectoral level, and the coordination of social dialogue on horizontal level. Ever mindful of the three pillars of sustainability for the European industry, he represents the interests of our federation and its affiliated organisations towards the European institutions, the European industry and employers associations, governments and other stakeholders.
From grassroots activist to European trade union leader, he is a well-know negotiator, who honed his skills at the service of blue collars and white collars alike for over 25 years. Particularly fond of Normandy, where he was born in 1958, he is a French citizen. He worked previously as Political Secretary for the European Mine Chemical Energy and Workers’ Federation (EMCEF) where he was in charge of the gas and electricity sectors and the coordination of European Works Councils. His earlier national mandates include: Head of the international department of FCE-CFDT; Head of Hygiene, Safety and Working Conditions (CHSCT); Labour Judge, and, of course, staff representative. He started his career working for companies such as Hoechst,Targor, Basell and Exxon. 
Sylvain Lefebvre is married and has 3 children and 5 grandchildren.



Sibelco – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2016 Safety Award with project “No-Dust Teams – innovation in airborne dust measurements”

Challenge: Committed to reducing exposure of its staff to airborne dust, incl. respirable crystalline silica, Sibelco sought a new way of identifying individual sources of airborne dust generation to be able to prioritise improvements.

Sibelco’s multidisciplinary team of experts – Health, Safety and Engineering specialists – developed for the quarry and mineral processing environment a concept in which real-time dust level measurements are combined with video recording of the activity or process being carried out. The new technology makes dust exposure visible. The equipment - a hand-held monitor and miniature head camera - has been very popular with the workforce, positively influencing worker’s behavior and their personal involvement in Sibelco’s dust improvement efforts.

Outcome: This innovative, and now affordable technology is now being used throughout Sibelco to assist site-based “No Dust” teams in their local dust improvement projects.

Singleton Birch Ltd

Machinery Innovation Award

Singleton Birch decided to install caged access systems in its four Maerz Lime Kilns to better protect personnel from the risk of falling while inspecting the inside of a section of a kiln. Although already protected by a work restraint harness, a hinged access cage can now be swung into place inside the kiln opening, thereby eliminating the risk of falling.

The Jury assessed this Safety Good Practice as "an example of worker involvement and innovation".


Machinery Innovation Award (ex-aequo)

According to the Jury, Imerys Parkandillick Calciner submitted a "simple solution offering safety and cost advantages" to improve the brick manufacturing process in order to improve the safety of workers. By implementing simple modifications to the brick itself, the process no longer requires a man to permanently bar the bricks into the crusher, thereby protecting workers from a task that had a history of people having accidents of varying severity.


Injury Prevention Programmes Award

Management and Workers Involvement Award

Sibelco Europe and its UK operations were awarded the IMA-Europe Safety Award for two categories: “Management and Workers’ Involvement”, and “Injury Prevention Programmes”. Given a tragedy that occurred at one of its sites end of August, Sibelco was not able to accept these Awards. According to the company, accepting these Awards would not have been respectful to the family of the victim and would have sent the wrong message within the organisation. For Sibelco, it is not appropriate to praise or celebrate their safety systems at this time.

This does not however detract from its worth the quality of the projects which were selected, nor the efforts of the teams who continuously look for improving safety at Sibelco’s workplaces, but reminds us that safety requires constant vigilance and that we are never free from possible errors.