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Innovative Safety Finalists Announced

Finalists were today announced for the upcoming Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) Safety and Health Innovation Awards.

This year, ten finalists will compete for top honours in three categories. Open to all WA-based resource companies, operations and contractors, the awards showcase the best in creativity and ingenuity with the goal of improving local workplaces.

CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith congratulated all finalists.

“These companies are at the forefront of finding innovative solutions to improve workplace safety – industry’s number one priority,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

“The safety performance of the WA resources sector continues to improve and industry is always looking at ways of doing things better,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

Finalists now move through to the last round of judging and will present an overview of their programs to delegates at the CME Safety and Health Conference to be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 14 – 15 April 2014.

Category winners will be announced at the Innovation Awards Dinner held on the first evening of the Safety and Health Conference on 14 April.

The CME Safety and Health Innovation Awards 2014 finalists are:

Engineering Category

Leighton Contractors – Safety Pressure Locking Device

The device was developed after a number of serious incidents involving the unplanned release of stored pressure from pressure vessels on dump trucks. The previous approach relied on tradespeople to check that all pressure had been vented before the pressure manifold was removed. A pressure sensitive locking pin has been added that locks a fitted guard in place if there is any pressure in the cylinder. This ensures the manifold can only be removed when the pressure has been released, allowing the locking pin to disengage the guard. 

Rio Tinto Iron Ore – Transfer Door and Inspection Hatch Modification Project

Following a recent incident where a maintainer sustained an injury to his finger while opening an inspection hatch, the project team developed a taxonomy of similar incidents. This team was tasked to review, prioritise and recommend modifications to all transfer doors and inspection hatches within the plant at Dampier with the objective ’that no further team member would injure themselves whilst performing their routine duties that require them to open/close transfer doors and inspection hatches’. The works now completed have contributed greatly to the Operational and Maintenance teams’ safety. 

Rio Tinto Iron Ore – Online Tank Robotics Inspection

This innovation uses a combination of robotics to replace the worker/s when inspecting the degradation of water tanks whilst the tanks are still online. This methodology mitigates the hazards of working at heights, confined space and the risk of drowning, making the tank inspection task safer, more efficient and improved cost effectiveness.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore – Revolutionising Reverse Circulation (RC) Sampling – The Elimination of Buckets and ‘Barrows

The manual handling associated with wet RC sampling has been a challenge for RTIO’s Resource Evaluation Department for many years. Multiple buckets and wheelbarrows have been used to capture and transfer samples for analysis and geological logging. This requires many Field Assistants, Drillers and Offsiders to physically lift, carry and move hundreds of samples, buckets and wheelbarrows every day. A simple, cheap and effective solution utilising a sample turn-table under a modified splitter has eliminated the need for the repetitive, heavy and awkward manual handling of buckets and wheelbarrows. 

People Category

Georgiou Group Pty Ltd – Safety is My Way

Georgiou has implemented a process that transforms safety culture by focusing on the personalisation of safety and its people's authentic leadership, which is not driven by compliance or prescription. It engages and holds accountable project teams for the implementation of measures to create exemplary people in safety, supported by a powerful brand – "Safety is My Way". It is based upon people, engagement, creativity and positivity.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore – The Yandicoogina Safety and Health Representative Development Program

A staged and multi-faceted development program for Yandicoogina’s Safety and Health Representatives comprising of modular group training based on adult learning principles; individual up-skilling of representatives; increased exposure to site management; increased exposure to high level safety and health processes on site; and social events. The overall goal of this program is to develop a cohesive and industry best standard team of representatives on the shop floor who can address team and site issues confidently and professionally.

Newmont Asia Pacific – Vital Behaviours

Initiated by informal crew leaders who use employees’ stories to identify less-safe behaviours and to specify the 3-4 Vital Behaviours that would greatly reduce injuries and fatalities. These employees also create Six Sources of Influence strategies to motivate and enable all employees to choose the Vital Behaviours. They meet regularly with management to implement these strategies and assess their impact on behaviours. These leaders, along with their work-mates, help ensure Vital Behaviours become part of the site’s culture by enrolling new employees, helping others speak-up and providing unfiltered feedback to management on what is working and what is not.  

Systems Category

Toxfree Solutions Ltd – Confined Space I-Surveillance

Using GoPro digital cameras the innovation is an ideal training tool.  Newly accredited operators can review footage of tanks they are about to clean and obtain a true appreciation of the conditions they face, associated risks and the ever changing work environment they would not normally experience through verbal communications.  Using the GoPro with Wi-Fi capabilities to transmit video/camera footage to smart phones or tablets situated outside a confined space environment, allowing operators and/or customers to evaluate/address any concerns identified and communicate back via handheld radio. The camera can be attached to a hard hat, chest harness or telescopic pole.

Argyle Diamonds – Mudrush Hazard Management

Mudrush is a critical risk for many underground mines. Recognising this risk, Argyle Diamonds has created a robust process for assessing, classifying, communicating and managing the level of risk for each drawpoint in its underground block cave mine, including the remote bogging of high risk drawpoints. In consultation with the Department of Mines and Petroleum, Argyle has also paved the way for a clear process of classifying, reporting and managing incidents where there has been an uncontrolled flow of material.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd – Vehicle Segregation and Hierarchy Rules

The implementation of a traffic management system based on Hierarchy Road Rules and Vehicle Segregation was proposed at Fortescue’s risk assessment workshops, to address risk associated with vehicle interaction and lower the risk profile.  Hierarchy Road Rules assigns right of way priority to different classes of vehicles to reduce the risk associated with vehicle crossings or blind spots. The proposal for Vehicle Segregation focuses on eliminating a significant portion of vehicle interaction in the mining area.