Kestrel coal mine wins global recognition from Rio Tinto

Kestrel coal mine has been named the ‘Most Improved’ operation in the Rio Tinto Chief Executive Safety Awards.

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh visited the site, near Emerald in central Queensland, last Wednesday to present the trophy and meet safety personnel, including the Kestrel Mines Rescue Team.

The Kestrel Mines Rescue Team was the first team to win all three Australian rescue competitions open to Queensland mines in 2012, and will represent Australia at the International Mines Rescue competition in Silezia, Poland in September this year.

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said the team at Kestrel are leaders in safety in the Australian underground mining industry.

“The team here at Kestrel can be very proud of the way they’ve continuously improved safety,” he said.

“At the end of the day, safety is all about people and Kestrel Mine has a real focus actively engaging all team members in the journey towards zero harm.

“The performance of the Kestrel Mine Rescue Team is just one example of this commitment. I look forward to seeing them make Australia and Rio Tinto proud at the world competition later this year.”

The Rio Tinto Chief Executive Safety Awards are open to all Rio Tinto operations across more than 40 countries, which encompass the aluminium, copper, diamonds and minerals, energy and iron ore businesses. Assessors looked for excellence in site safety culture, safety leadership and employee engagement.

Kestrel Mine general manager operations John Coughlan expressed his pride in every person working at Kestrel mine.

“This award recognises the deep commitment we have made in developing a strong safety culture in the way that we work.”

Kestrel Mine received the “Most Improved” Award for use of visible and passionate safety leaders as coaches; the MATESAFE programme encouraging interdependent safety behaviour; quality of processes such as safety interactions and incident investigations; and management of critical risk through the golden rules, supported by highly visual and engaging communication methods.

Other winners of the Chief Executive Safety Awards included Kennecott Utah Copper and the Borax Modified Direct Dissolving of Kernite Ore project, both in the United States.

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