New safety innovations developed in NSW mining industry

The NSW mining industry has recognised some of the best
innovations in safety over the last year at last night’s NSW Minerals Council
Health and Safety Innovation award ceremony.

The top honour for Innovation went to Centennial Coal for
their Fit-for-Purpose Underground Boot.

Tested by personnel at the Centennial mine, their winning
entry was a specially designed underground mining work boot, developed in
conjunction with Blundstone, which provides ankle support and sole stability,
comfort and full prevention of water ingress.

NSW Department of Resources and Energy director of mine
safety operations Rob Regan said the new boot has fundamentally changed the way
a mining boot is made.

“Centennial nailed the risk management process and understood
the detail from the problem through to the solution,” he said.

The People’s Choice and Highly Commended award went to
Ashton Coal operations for the BREASI valve.

The valve prevents inadvertent movement of an underground
diesel machine while a compressed air line is attached.

Essentially, the valve ensures that the park brake remains
applied while an air line is attached so that the vehicle cannot drive away, which
prevents the danger of the air hose tearing off and recoiling and releasing air
uncontrolled.

Centennial’s Newstan Colliery took a Highly Commended award
for implementing a new engineered safety control, one which eliminates risk of injury
and death by placing remote operating panels outside of arc blast risk zones,
allowing the worker to safely operate ‘no volt coil’ and ‘close circuit’
functions from a safe distance.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the winners
reflected the priority given by modern mining operations to safety and innovation,
and confirmed the world class status of the NSW mining sector.

“Our innovation awards encourage NSW miners to identify
areas where health and safety can be improved and then develop and road-test solutions
that can be adopted at other operations,” Galilee said.

“All award entries were of a high standard and the end result
are many tools, applications and techniques that have the potential to be
shared across the industry and the community.”

Galilee said that a recent spike in accidents and fatalities in the Australian mining
industry was a poignant reminder that safety is the number one priority.

“The NSW Minerals Council Health and Safety Innovation
Awards is one way in which we can continue to encourage continuous improvement
and cutting edge innovation to help achieve our number one goal of achieving zero
harm at every NSW mine site,” he said. 

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