As part of our new Q&A series we interview you, and find out what your job is day to day. In this edition we speak to Ruth Jenkins, Integration Manager at St Barbara.
Australian Mining: What are your primary roles and responsibilities in your job? Give us a day in your working life.
Ruth Jenkins: I work as a consultant at St. Barbara at its PNG operations. My job is integration manager for health and safety. Day to day I help with the integration of safety systems, health, and provide leadership on site for safer operation.
AM: What training/education did you need for your job?
RJ: I started working in mining in South Africa.
After the change in government in South Africa and affirmative action I was classed as a disadvantaged person and managed to get sent to uni to train as a mine manager.
During my work for BHP they sent me on a number of courses.
I've Cert. IV in a number of different mining certificates.
AM: How did you get to where you are today? Give us a bullet point career path.
RJ: As I said before it was a varied path that brought me to where I am in mining.
I've been in mining since 1989. I left school at in the UK at 16. I started in South Africa and was actually the third female shortfirer in the country and the first to be cleared for shotfiring underground.
Then I decided to focus on the technical side of mining.
AM: What tools and/or software do you use on a daily basis?
RJ: I use risk management tools all the time. Always using pre-start tools.
It's different in risk management as each mining company uses different systems.
Here they use one that is intuitive and incentivised for repetition and training.
We're currently creating an app for safety auditing.
AM: What is the one thing that you are most proud of in your professional life?
RJ: That I got to where I am today. Over the years people said to me: "You're a woman, you can't do that". But I went ahead and did it, and earned their respect doing the job from the ground up.
Since then I started my own business, Sina Solutions, to help change the site and help people make their communities better.
AM: Biggest daily challenge?
RJ: As a safety consultant it is getting buy in from the workers. It has been made a little easier on site as St Barbara do live their values.
Mostly it is about ensuring that the safer operation message gets across, which is harder in PNG, so every day is about the constant repetition of training.
AM: Biggest career challenge?
RJ: Developing the right attitude and mindset to safety and training.
AM: What is your biggest frustration in your job?
RJ: Myself. I have high expectations of myself and expect others to operate to those same standards.
AM: What is the biggest challenge facing your business?
AM: Is there anything else about your job you want Australia to know about?
RJ: That mining is a great career as you can always learn so much.
This article is part of Australian Mining's new industry map, where we try to build a picture of the mining industry job by job. To be a part of it and take the Q&A yourself click here.
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