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Safety and Health Innovation Award Winners Announced

An innovative way of replacing conveyor belts at BHP Billiton’s Mining Area C, the implementation of an Unmanned Aerial System at FMG’s Cloudbreak Mine and Downer Mining’s program targeting priority health risks were amongst the winners at the 2015 CME Safety and Health Innovation Awards.

BHP Billiton Mining Area C also collected the Industry Choice Award.

CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith congratulated all finalists.

“The innovations being developed highlight the entire industry’s commitment to continue to improve safety performance,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

“Whether it’s by engineering new solutions to minimise risk or promoting and improving a site culture of safety first, these achievements promote the health and wellbeing of workers.”

“The awards promote the application of innovation across the WA resources industry, as this is essential to ensure continuous improvement in safety and health performance.  It is exciting to be able to celebrate achievement and success within our industry,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

The awards were presented at the Innovation Awards Dinner on Monday 27 July 2015, as part of the annual CME Safety and Health Conference.

CME Safety and Health Innovation Awards 2015 Winners:

Engineering Category and Industry Choice – BHP Billiton Mining Area C

Conveyor Belt Replacement Improvement

Conveyor belt replacements are recognised as a hazardous activity. The idea to utilise turning frames to change the way shorter conveyor belts are replaced at BHP Billiton Mining Area C was identified and implemented to safely improve operations whilst making innovative use of existing site equipment by designing a module which can be bolted on to a conveyor’s structure. A testament to the innovation’s success is that it is now used in similar conveyor systems on 4 out of 5 BHP Billiton Iron Ore mines all of which are now enjoying the same benefits of safer and more efficient conveyor belt replacements.

Systems Category – Fortescue Metals Group

Unmanned Aerial System for Cloudbreak Mine Site

The Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is a photogrammetry based system. It uses a mounted camera within the plane to gather spatial information.  The innovative implementation of the UAS to undertake stockpile surveys has significantly reduced exposure to health and safety risks encountered by the survey team. Other benefits include; increased productivity and efficiency in survey and mining team activities and increased accuracy in data reporting. As a result of initial success other FMG operational areas are now using UAVs to inspect high risk work areas, removing personnel from high risk tasks altogether.

People Category – Downer Mining

Enhancing Workforce Health Program

Downer Mining’s Enhancing Workforce Health program is a holistic occupational health program born from the need to raise the profile of workforce health recognising the risks that poor health poses to employee safety. The company needed a structured health program that targeted its priority health risk areas. The solution was a commercial research partnership with Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation through which Downer Mining has been able to work with internationally recognised experts to develop a diversified and continuous-improvement approach to managing its priority health risk areas: obesity and nutrition, musculoskeletal disorder and mental health.

The judges also awarded a special commendation for Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s FIVE Mental Health Project in partnership with Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA.