Mining engineer Simon Ridge has won the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy's (AusIMM) Jim Torlach Health and Safety award.
The West Australian man won the award for his contribution to safety and reform in WA's mining industry.
WA mines minister Norman Moore said this award also recognises the work of the state's Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).
Ridge has worked for the DMP for more than a decade.
Mr Ridge has been with the department for a total of 16 years and has been a central figure over the past three years – driving changes to safety in the mining industry,” Moore said.
“He has helped implement significant changes as part of the department’s Reform and Development at Resources Safety strategy, which supports cultural change across industry.”
Ridge played a key part in the appointment of 25 new mines safety inspectors during 2010 and 2011 alone.
The DMP is planning hire another 10 safety inspectors by the end of this year.
Ridge has also lead teams overseeing mine safety in South Australia.
“I congratulate Simon on his efforts – it is a great achievement, not just for Simon, but for everyone who works in the mining industry which will be safer because of the work he has driven,” Moore said.
“Not only has he managed the recruitment of qualified and experienced safety staff, he has also designed and overseen new inspector induction programs and introduced a new team concept tailored to suit the State’s diverse and geographically dispersed mining.”