Staying hydrated at Australian mine sites

Engineer at electric power plant and taking a break

The summer months may have finished, bringing cooler weather, but that doesn’t decrease the importance of staying hydrated at mine sites. Australian Mining explains.

It has been another scorching Australian summer. In recent months, it has been a common sight to see weather forecasts hitting at least 40 degrees in Australia’s major mining regions on both sides of the country.

For the mining industry, this has brought the importance of staying hydrated to the fore as companies prioritise the health and safety of their workforce.

With autumn now upon us, there will be some respite ahead for Australia’s miners, many of which are working in remote locations that experience extreme temperatures throughout the year.

However, the slightly cooler weather isn’t an excuse for mine operators to become complacent about the importance of keeping its workers adequately hydrated.

In Western Australia, for example, hot workplaces are everywhere, with heat coming from climatic conditions, heavy work in moderately hot conditions, hot work processes, radiant heat from surroundings, and work where heavy protective gear is required — all situations relevant to mining.

Each of these factors could lead to a mine worker becoming severely dehydrated if they aren’t monitored and sufficient water isn’t consumed.

It is widely accepted that Australians need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. To be exact, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that the average woman drinks 2.1 litres a day, while the average man should consume 2.6 litres a day[1].

A good rule is to drink enough so you’re not thirsty for long periods. On a mine site, it is even more important to monitor how much you drink, with high temperatures and challenging work conditions the norm for workers.

Due to the risks caused by heat, WA’s Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 requires employers to provide and maintain a working environment in which workers are not exposed to hazards. This applies to any safety and health risk, including illness from working in heat.

It is important to understand the key risk factors that could lead to workers suffering from severe dehydration or illnesses caused by heat.

According to the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, the key factors include air temperature, humidity, radiant heat, air movement or wind speed, workload, a worker’s physical fitness and clothing[2].

By monitoring these factors and staying hydrated at mine sites it will reduce the risk to a mine worker’s health and safety.

Never failing Australia

Neverfail, Australia’s #1 spring water cooler brand,[3] sources its spring water from some of Australia’s finest natural springs and has been keeping the country hydrated for over 30 years.

The company’s story started when Harry Hilliam looked at the potential of bottling natural spring water and started selling his first bottle from the back of a ute. The name Neverfail was born as the spring at Harry’s family property ‘never failed’ to produce no matter how dry it got outside.

After Harry formed the business, Neverfail expanded quickly to then be delivering its water throughout Australia into homes and offices.

Neverfail’s products include water coolers, 11 and 15-litre returnable spring water bottles, 15-litre one-way bottles, five and 10-litre water casks, and 600mL on-the-go bottles.

In addition, Neverfail’s two-litre portable drink bottle is an ideal solution that mine workers can keep handy on site to stay hydrated in remote and dry working conditions.

When access to water is limited, mine workers can fill the reusable drink bottle with Neverfail spring water, providing clean and refreshing water on the go and the ability to track their water consumption.

The company already supplies Neverfail spring water to various Australian mine and construction sites, keeping our hard-working miners hydrated in some of the country’s harshest conditions.

Neverfail’s commitment to Australian communities, many of which have grown from mining operations, is demonstrated through its support of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The water supplier understands the significant role the Flying Doctor plays in keeping these communities functioning and caring for individuals and families that live, work or travel across remote Australia.

As part of an ongoing partnership, Neverfail currently donates funds to the RFDS through special promotions.

[1] https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/water

[2] https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/working-safely-hot-conditions

[3] Source: : Canadean Bulk/HOD Water by Volume, Australia 2017