Health, Safety, Environment and Community Conference 2018 Award Winners

August 07, 2018

7 August 2018

NSW Minerals Council

Health, Safety, Environment and Community Conference  

2018 Award Winners


The 2018 NSW Minerals Council Health, Safety, Environment and Community Conference Award Winners were announced last night at an Industry Awards Dinner held at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.

Winners were announced in four categories - ‘workforce health’, ‘mine safety’, ‘environmental sustainability’ and ‘community engagement’

Over 500 people from across NSW were in attendance to celebrate excellence and innovation in NSW mining and to hear the winners announced.

“It was great to see our Award winners recognised for their excellence and innovation by such a large number of their industry peers, and on behalf of all our members I warmly congratulate them for their achievements,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said today.

“All of our winners were of a very high calibre, demonstrating mining’s commitment to innovation and the pursuit of excellence,”

“Special congratulations must go to Glencore this year for winning two of the four award categories in 2018, with the Glencore Ravensworth Operation winning both the Environment and Safety categories.”

“The innovation recognised by these Awards is an important part of our industry’s continuous effort to deliver better outcomes for our industry, our workforce, and our local communities.”

Winner - Health Excellence

Mt Owen Positively Healthy - Site Health Score - Thiess Mount Owen

The Mount Owen mine is based in Hebden in the Hunter Valley coal fields and is operated by Thiess.  The mine employs around 380 staff and is owned by Glencore.

For the past five years, Thiess Mt Owen has been running an annual Positively Healthy program with around 20 percent of the workforce participating each year.  With the support of Ethos Health, the company aimed to increase employee participation in the 2016 program and achieve real weight loss and positive overall health outcomes across the mine’s workforce.

188 employees participated in either the six week challenge or a similar six week personal action plan, with the total combined weight lost 237kg - the equivalent of almost three average sized men.

The annual result of the Positively Healthy program from November 2016 to November 2017 was a total combined weight loss of 139kg.  146 participants of the program were able to maintain an average weight loss of 1kg of bodyweight.

Winner - Safety Excellence

Sizer Teeth Removal Innovation

Glencore Ravensworth

Glencore Coal’s Ravensworth open cut mine is located between Singleton and Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley.  The mine has been in operation in one form or another since the 1970s and currently employs 651 people.

Crusher teeth require replacement up to three times a year.  This maintenance task traditionally involves the use of a 6.4kg copper sledgehammer to strike the used teeth, loosening them so they can be removed.  There are 116 teeth on the crusher, each requiring an average eight hits with the hammer by a maintenance technician, which equates to 928 strikes to remove all the teeth.

The constant swinging and striking with the sledgehammer poses significant fatigue, ergonomic and soft tissue injury risks to the maintenance technician undertaking the teeth removal.  A new, safer method was needed to eliminate the use of the sledgehammer.

With no alternative method available on the market, the maintenance team at Ravensworth brainstormed new approaches.  A hydraulic flange splitter was considered, however modifications would be required to allow its use on the crusher teeth.

Following extensive safety and engineering consultation with regard to modifying the flange splitter, a successful trial was conducted on a full row of crusher teeth.

Winner - Environment Excellence

Quantifying NO2 concentration in blast fumes using drone technology

Glencore Ravensworth

Glencore Coal’s Ravensworth open cut mine is located between Singleton and Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley.  The mine has been in operation in one form or another since the 1970s and currently employs 651 people.

Given the proximity of operations to local communities, the potential impact of blast fumes is taken very seriously at Ravensworth and across all operations across the Hunter

The current method of monitoring dust levels is complicated by the difficulty in gathering sample data to assess the accuracy of the standard industry guidelines.

Ravensworth addressed this issue by combining drone technology and gas sensors to gather accurate and quantifiable Nitrogen Dioxide concentration data from blast plumes. This data is able to compare the colour of the blast plume with levels of Nitrogen Dioxide and also provides information about how the gases break down as they move away from the blast source.

Results of the project have shown a correlation between the fume colour/intensity and Nitrogen Dioxide concentration which both supports and allows for future calibration of the standard industry guidelines.

The project provides the data to build greater confidence on blast fume impact prediction in the industry, regulators and importantly our community.

Winner - Community Excellence

Strengthening Community Resilience through Partnership

Upper Hunter Community Services and BHP Mt Arthur Coal

BHP Mt Arthur Coal is located 5km west of Muswellbrook and employs almost 1,400 full time employees and contractors.

As part of BHP Mt Arthur’s commitment to the local community, the Community Capacity Building project (CCB) was developed as a four year, $1.14 million partnership between BHP and Upper Hunter Community Services (UHCS).

The collaboration between Mt Arthur and UHCS has helped several local and regional organisations by connecting them with the appropriate community agency or service; providing them with a meeting space within the UHCS building; and assisting them with event planning, networking and grant applications.

As part of the the CCB program, UHCS is developing a Mental Health App which will improve community access to information and services relating to mental health and wellbeing.  

Contact: Harry Stutchbury | | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419


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