Miners Meet in Hunter to Focus on Safety

Pictured: Attendees from last year's conference.

Nearly 400 NSW miners will gather to share ideas on how the World Class NSW mining industry can embrace innovative technology and new techniques to manage risk within the sector.


Over three days, mining industry delegates from across NSW will focus on the role of technology in managing health and safety in mining at the industry’s flagship conference for 2014, ‘Learning from our past, for a safer future’.


NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the need to focus on safety in the NSW mining industry has been tragically driven home in recent months.


“This year’s health and safety conference will have a sombre tone.  The past few months have been extremely challenging for the Australian mining industry with a spike in incidents and fatalities. Safety is everything to NSW mining; it is our number one priority, our most important issue,” Mr Galilee said.


“While the NSW mining industry is known for its strong safety record, the reality is that our miners face hazards every day as they do their important work. Recent incidents are a tragic reminder of why safety is and must always be our number one priority,” Mr Galilee said.


“Our number one goal is to achieve zero harm at every NSW mine site, through continuous improvement and innovation, high level training and advanced work practices and technology.”


“At the 2014 NSW Mining Health and Safety Conference we'll learn from the past for a safer future. We'll reflect on a series of mining safety trends and incidents from our past, both in Australia and abroad, and we’ll hear stories from people involved and the families and colleagues of the people affected, so we can share what they've learned and help ensure those events are never repeated.” 


Delegates will hear from speakers with powerful messages on managing risk, including Dr Sidney Dekker (PhD Ohio State University, USA, 1996), a professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, where he runs the Safety Science Innovation Lab. Dr Dekker has won worldwide acclaim as a best-selling author on the subject of human factors and safety.


Delegates will also hear from industry experts on managing risk, including Peter Wilkinson, who has over two decades of experience working in manufacturing, energy, construction and railways.


The hotly contested “NSW Mining Health and Safety Innovation Awards” are back again this year, showcasing some of the best new examples of leading practices, devices and systems from across NSW that help make the industry world class. 



Remote High Voltage Switching Centennial Coal - Newstan Through the implementation of an engineered control, Newstan Colliery has eliminated the potential for injury to operators by the design and installation of a mechanical remote operating panel that is located outside of the arc blast risk zone and out of direct line of sight. The design allows the operator to safely operate the ‘no volt coil’ and the ‘close circuit’ function from a safe remote location.


Automatic Height Safety HandrailsCadia Valley Operations - Newcrest Mining Limited - The Newcrest Cadia Valley Operations Cadia East mines new underground workshop constructed a mezzanine storage area above a newly constructed hose manufacturing workshop. As part of the mezzanine set up, a forklift is required to load/unload palleted material onto the mezzanine floor and this required a maintenance employee to open a gate exposing him/herself to the risk of falling from heights.  The Automatic Height Safety handrails address this.


Fit For Purpose Underground Boot - Centennial Coal  The inadequacies of currently available footwear for use in wet underground mines are well known. “Gumboots” protect against water but lack ankle and arch support; have poor levels of wearer comfort; and generate excessive heat within the boot. Leather boots provide ankle and arch support, however are unable to prevent water leaking into the boot. These issues expose our people to a range of Health and Safety risks.  With the assistance of Blundstone, personnel at Centennial have designed and tested a new generation boot that provides high levels of support and stability control while being extremely comfortable and preventing all water ingress.


Isolation Filter Dump (IFD) Station - Centennial Coal - Mandalong The Centennial Mandalong Isolation, Filter, Dump (IFD) station is a progression from the award winning double block and bleed valve from 2008. It allows hydraulic supply to the longwall face to be isolated and dissipated in one action. 


Dragline Fairlead Roller - Installation/Removal Improvement - Rio Tinto - Coal & Allied Replacing vertical fairlead rollers on Draglines was a complex task involving multiple machines, slings, chains and manual handling to manoeuvre the roller into place. Weighing approximately one tonne, the greatest risk associated with working around a dragline vertical fairlead roller is the suspended roller falling out of a sling onto personnel or equipment in the immediate area. The idea was based around the use of a JLG Telehandler that was already present on site, with core concept ideas for the jig to be simple and durable.


ExtoChart Visual Software - Centennial Coal Strata failure is a leading cause of fatalities and injuries in the underground coal industry. Planning for effective strata support for the life cycle of underground roadways requires an understanding of failure modes and contributing factors (not always visually obvious or directly measurable). The ExtoChart Visual Software is a web based analysis tool designed for animated timescaled roof movement data trending. It can be used in conjunction with geological and geotechnical information to build more effective hazard plans, by identifying through direct measurement of roof movement which information is relevant and at what stage of roadway life cycle.


BREASI Valve - Ashton Coal Operations The BREASI Valve is designed to prevent the inadvertent movement of an Underground Diesel machine whilst an external compressed air line is attached. It ensures that the park brake remains applied when an air line is attached, thereby preventing a machine being driven off with the air line attached and consequently reduces the potential risk of injury to persons from an uncontrolled release of compressed air or a recoiling hose.


Contact: Chris Rath | crath@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 14191