2016 Health, Safety, Environment & Community Awards Finalists

More photos from our Awards Dinner night and the conference can be found on our Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the 2016 HSEC Awards. The Award winners were announced on 29th August at the Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley.

Please read through each of our finalist's submission below.
To view our Award winners for this year, please click here.
Health Excellence

Mental Health Program, Mt Thorley Warkworth - Coal & Allied
Through funding from the Australian Coal Association Research Program, a University of Newcastle research project was undertaken to determine the extent and impact of mental health problems among coal mining employees at the Rio Tinto Mt Thorley Warkworth Coal mine. The project which was completed in January 2016 lead to the creation of an holistic Mental Health Program being adopted onsite.

Working Well: Mental Health and Mining Project, University of Newcastle
Working Well: Mental Health and Mining is one of the first studies that aimed to determine the extent and impact of mental health problems and their associated factors in the Australian coal mining industry. The project consisted of two stages. Stage one examined the extent of mental health problems in coal mining employees across multiple coal mines. In stage two, four coal mine sites received the Working Well program which included promoting awareness of mental health problems and suicide and crisis intervention skills for general staff, as well as supervisor training which aimed to build capacity to address mental health problems in staff they supervise.


Heart At Work, CMOC-Northparkes Mines
In 2014, the CMOC-Northparkes Mines (Northparkes) Health Team identified that many people (including employees and community members), were at risk of developing a disease that kills thousands of Australians per year – cardiovascular disease. In 2015, Heart at Work Program was born, and a challenge was put to the entire Northparkes Mines community, in an attempt to reduce the modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and to incorporate some of those learnings into the community. The 12 month program saw some amazing individual and team results – including one individual losing an amazing 17.7kg in the weight loss challenge.


Safety Excellence
Safety Light,  Moolarben Coal Operations - Yancoal
Moolarben Coal Operations (MCO) employees were engaged in a consultative process to discuss issues and potential solutions for collision incidents between heavy mobile equipment in operational areas. All crews developed ideas and solutions and the most appropriate was deemed to be a signal light on the roof of tracked heavy equipment in operating areas. This entailed the operator initiating radio contact to dozer operators who then acknowledges through the signal light to establish positive communication between the operating equipment. The solution was risk assessed and trialled under a controlled environment for a period of time. MCO employees were again engaged at the end of the trial period to assess the outcomes and highlight any deficiencies and concerns. There was only positive feedback from employees and the system was implemented on all tracked equipment with an acceptable cost per unit. Since the implementation of the safety light system there have been no further instances of collisions between heavy mobile equipment in MCO's operating areas

Solenoid Connector Block Protective Guard, Myuna Colliery - Centennial Coal

Centennial Myuna Colliery operates place change machinery in the Great Northern and Fassifern Seams and a Bolter Miner panel in the Fassifern Seam. An issue has been identified through repeated failures of a specific component on the fleet of Continuous Miners. The component, an ‘XP Cable Connector’, can fail when subjected to undue stress leading to failure of the safety related aspects of the design. This safety risk is the exposure of electrical conductors within a hazardous zone, which may lead to an ignition of methane and subsequently, a coal dust explosion resulting in serious injury or multiple deaths. This failure is a breach of the WHS (Mines and Petroleum) Regulation 2014, Clause 128(5)(i) the failure of explosion-protection characteristics of explosion-protected plant while that plant is in service. Myuna, through existing internal processes within the Health and Safety Management System, has identified a solution to this issue.

Medium Cyclone Access Platform, Ravensworth Operations - Glencore

Dense medium cyclones are used throughout the mineral processing industry including Glencore's Ravensworth Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP). Personnel at the Ravensworth CHPP identified an unacceptable 'working at heights' risk when maintenance personnel were conducting internal inspections of the cyclones and challenged themselves to develop a solution to the unacceptable risk. The purpose built cyclone maintenance platform was developed and it has been a huge success in eliminating the working at heights risk.

Environment Excellence

Recreating Nature: Bowmans Creek Diversion, Ashton Coal Operations - Yancoal

Ashton Coal is located approximately 14 kilometres Northwest of Singleton in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW. The operations include an underground coal mine, which is overlaid by the watercourse Bowmans Creek. In December 2010, Ashton Coal was granted approval to redirect sections of Bowmans Creek, to allow for the optimised mining of coal at the Ashton Underground Mine. The proposal involved the construction of two diversions to mitigate potential impacts on the flow of Bowmans Creek, in the event mine subsidence affected direct hydraulic connection to the creek.

Northparkes Tailings Dust Strategy: A Farming Approach, CMOC-Northparkes Mines

At CMOC-Northparkes Mines (Northparkes) Zero Harm is our approach to every aspect of our operations. We care for our people, our environment and the community in which we live and work. We recognised that dust lift-off from our Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs) was an environmental and community concern. Dust events had eventuated in a number of EPA self-report incidents and several community complaints. We are proud to be a miner and a farmer. Using ideas and skills adapted from our farming operations, we developed an industry-first strategy to mitigate TSF dust lift-off.

Minimal Impact Aircore Drilling, Sandfire Resources NL

In partnership with our Aircore (AC) drilling contractor, Bostech Drilling Australia Pty Ltd (Bostech), we have developed a system for Aircore drilling which results in a near zero environmental impact. We were able to achieve our aim of reducing the residual footprint of the activity of the ground to just the 20 cm drill hole collar itself.

Community Excellence

Successfully Building Capacity Through Strong Community Partnerships, Mt Arthur Coal - BHP Billiton

The Community Capacity Building Project is a four year partnership between BHP Billiton, Upper Hunter Community Services and Muswellbrook Shire Council to build a strong, sustainable and resilient Muswellbrook Shire community. UHCS's efforts have been recognised with a Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry Award in 2014.

Mudgee High School Link Program, Glencore

Commencing in 2012 the Mudgee Link program is a creative community and cross sector solution to re-engage at risk student in education or employment that has wide reaching individual and community benefits. Developed in partnership between Glencore, Mudgee High School, TAFE and interested community members, the program has adapted to the challenge of changing legislation introduced in 2010 to enforce all students to be engaged in education or employment until the age of 17 years.

Cadia District Enhancement Project, Cadia Valley Operations - Newcrest Mining

In 2012 Cadia Valley Operations (CVO) launched a project designed to address concerns of near neighbours that their agricultural land was devalued by the location of a major mining operation in their district. The goal of the Cadia District Enhancement Project (CDEP) was for CVO to work with its near neighbours to create environmental and community benefits for the Cadia district which would enhance the value of the area as an agricultural, mining, or lifestyle choice because of the mining operation, not in spite of it. In four years since its launch, the CDEP has become an inclusive community partnership, with residents of the Cadia District volunteering to form a governing committee, actively driving projects and working closely with each other and CVO representatives as equal partners in a community collective.

Community Excellence in Aboriginal Employment & Enterprise Development

Aboriginal Employment, Coal & Allied - Rio Tinto
In 2006 Coal & Allied commenced a holistic, long term effort to build mutually beneficial relationships and contribute to sustainable Aboriginal communities in the Upper Hunter. This has included:

  • A full time role to oversee an Aboriginal Relations engagement programme and social investment, employment and capacity building strategies
  • Developing Aboriginal employment plans and setting targets; and establishing traineeships, scholarships and direct employment opportunities with Coal & Allied
  • Delivering cultural awareness training to new starters

Since then, this strategy has been refined to reflect our learnings and the increasingly challenging economic environment.

Whitehaven Coal Maules Creek Mine Aboriginal Employment Strategy, Whitehaven Coal

Whitehaven Coal’s vision is to be Australia’s leading independent coal company. Within the next five years our workforce will grow to over 1,000 people. We take great pride that we started in the Gunnedah Basin and we focus on employing our workforce from the local communities. We believe that the best way we can assist to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is by offering the opportunity of stable, long-term employment. Whitehaven has made a commitment that our Maules Creek workforce will contain at least 10% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. During early recruitment at Maules Creek we are already exceeding our aspirational target, with 12% of the Maules Creek workforce being Indigenous.


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