Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations

    Spotlight on safety innovation award finalists

    13/08/2018 8:00 AM
    • 12 finalists announced in the Safety and Health Resources Sector Awards
    • Winners to be announced at awards ceremony on October 25, 2018 

    Innovative engineering and improvements in safety are the focus of the 12 finalists vying for the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety's (DMIRS) Safety and Health Resources Sector Awards.


    Selected from 24 nominations, the finalists demonstrated a commitment to worker safety and mitigating risks.


    Some of the problems addressed include protection from lighting strikes, sprains and strains, contaminants and stored energy.


    The awards recognise individuals, teams and companies that have developed an original solution to safety and health problems in the workplace.


    The winners will be announced at DMIRS' annual Resources Sector Awards for Excellence night on Thursday, October 25, along with the Community Partnership Resources Sector Award and the prestigious Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence.


    For more information, visit http://www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/excellenceawards 


    Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:


    "I applaud the finalists for challenging the status quo and improving safety for their staff.


    "We can learn a lot from these projects and I'm pleased the awards can provide a platform to promote them to the broader industry. 


    "These finalists show the amazing innovation being developed and implemented every day in Western Australia's resources sector.


    "With industry and government working together, we can improve the health and safety of workers and achieve the ultimate goal of zero harm.


    "Every Western Australian has a right to be safe at work, which is why the modernisation of our State's Work Health and Safety laws is one of the McGowan Government's top priorities."


    Minister's office - 6552 6700  


    The finalists are:




    Improving Electrical Safety of High Voltage Switchgear, Rio Tinto Iron Ore

    Rio Tinto Iron Ore's online partial discharge solution has enabled employees to take a more holistic view of the process of risk reduction across its extensive fleet of high voltage switchgear assets.

    With the ability to predict failures, resources can be better allocated to corrective and preventative actions that will mitigate the identifiable risks, which include arc flash and hazardous gas exposure.


    SkyHook MKIV Mobile Fall Arrest Anchor System, Fremantle Commercial Diving

    The SkyHook MKIV is a unique truck mounted, mobile rated overhead anchor point for two people.

    Designed and engineered to allow safe working at heights or the rescue of an injured person from a water tank in situations where no other suitable anchor point and/or rescue equipment is installed on an asset.


    Lightning Protection System, Roy Hill Holdings

    The Lightning Protection System (LPS) is an innovative, unique and long-term solution to a frequent hazard in the mining industry.

    The LPS benefits people by allowing them to safely move around facilities during lightning red alerts, by capturing lightning strikes at preferred points then redirecting the energy to a grounding system.


    Elimination of Chlorine Gas from Rio Tinto Pilbara Villages, Rio Tinto

    Rio Tinto Iron Ore identifies that gas chlorinators were still in use at the main potable water treatment systems at their accommodation villages.

    To eliminate the risk of exposure to chlorine gas, for personnel maintaining potable water at the village and residents, an onsite Electrolytic Chlorination system was successfully installed at four facilities.


    Spring Leaf Pack Hoist, Mineral Resources Limited (MRL)

    MRL identified the need for an engineering design to eliminate the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and significantly reduce impact injuries to hands and fingers associated with the task of removing and replacing Leaf Spring Packs on their extensive range of multi-combination and super-quad road train trailers.


    Elimination of Working Under a Suspended Load, Rio Tinto

    Any crane lifting operation, where there is a risk of personnel being exposed to a suspended load, requires effective controls to mitigate any potential risk to our personnel.

    An engineer designed guide system is a critical control initiative that successfully eliminates the requirement for an operator or maintainer to be working in proximity to a suspended load in the drop zone during this task.


    Systems and People


    Driving down injuries and incidents in road train haulage, Atlas Iron

    There are many factors involved in ensuring personnel are fit for work and free from fatigue. The holistic approach taken between Atlas and Rivet has shown a considered, well-structured plan that has had measureable benefits with improved outcomes to the drivers, community and companies.


    Reduction of sprains and strains in mining industry, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mine

    Redesigning the storage racks for steel rods and repositioning hydraulic fluid storage is a simple, cost effective engineering solution that has had a huge impact on minimising sprains and strain injuries to staff, improving not only the health and wellbeing of employees but also increasing production and contributing to the success of the business.


    Emergency Response Exposure Reduction Initiative – BARRIO, Rio Tinto Iron Ore

    Best practice, Airborne Contaminants, Risk, Reduction, Initiative and Operation (BARRIO) is an effective and practical solution to mitigate the risk of exposure to fire based atmospheric contaminants that have been identified as health risks.


    Newmont Boddington Gold Health and Safety Representative Mentoring Program, Newmont Mining

    The HSR mentoring program is designed to support Health and Safety Representatives, providing education on their legal responsibilities and requirements, as well as equipping them with skills to successfully engage their work groups and the workforce.

    The program delivers 11 topics and workshops over 11 months.


    Controlling Energy Sources - Mobile Maintenance, Fortescue Metals Group

    A safety package that is designed for upskilling and keeping mobile maintenance workers in control of potentially damaging stored energy.


    Reducing exposure to working on live equipment, Rio Tinto Iron Ore

    An isolation incident in 2015 at Rio Tinto Iron Ore Ports Dampier highlighted the risk of working on live equipment associated with mirror-image conveyors with multiple access points.

    Several mitigating measures were implemented for working among mirror-image conveyors including a human factors approach, and an easily deployed, low cost, sustainable method of plant identification.