Sharing stories to reinforce mining health and safety

Innovation and shared stories took centre stage at the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety conference this week, with attendance the highest it has been in three years.

More than 650 industry leaders descended on the Gold Coast to experience a thought-provoking program of keynote speakers, industry presentations and trade displays.

Conference chair Shane Apps said the event’s growing attendance was reflective of the industry’s focus on health and safety excellence.

“Queensland’s health and safety systems are up there with the best in the world, but that doesn’t mean the industry will ever accept complacency when it comes to worker protection,” he said.

“The conference is an opportunity for industry, government and safety bodies to unite, share our experiences and impart our knowledge so that we may learn and advance in the field.”

The conference provides an opportunity for the industry to learn from past mistakes and go back to mine sites armed with new processes that tackle safety issues.

“This year we were also able to acknowledge two mining legends, John Brady and Ron McKenna, who pioneered safety for the industry and whose experience is invaluable,” Apps added.

The three-day event, themed ‘Sharing my story: understanding and leading in times of true adversity’, culminated in an awards ceremony that recognised the best emerging practices for eliminating health and safety risks.

Redpath Australia receive the top award for its ‘Safe Stop’ innovation; an anti-jam door unit that eliminates the potential for disabling injuries associated with operators accessing and egressing heavy mobile equipment operator cabins in underground mines.

Anglo American Moranbah North Mine was awarded a highly commended for its Longwall Dust Gutter System, a system designed to contain and manage the fine float dust and pieces of coal that have fallen from the articulation point and side shields of a powered roof support.

The People’s Choice Award went to Glencore Oaky North Mine for its Ventilation Model for Training, which uses 3D printing technology and variety of visualisation tools to improve ventilation training for “hands on” learners that are typical of the coal work force.

First prize includes a trip to Dusseldorf, Germany to attend the A + A Trade Exhibition in November, as a guest of the Award sponsor uvex Safety Australia.

New Acland Coal and West Moreton Operations (New Hope Group) were jointly recognised with the prestigious Health Award, and a $1,000 donation will be awarded to their charity of choice.

The judging panel also praised Evolution Mining for its positive work in the health space, with a Highly Commended recognition.