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Employer ‘eliminates’ risk from mine site

Alcoa safe walkway
Safe walkway

A multinational resources producer reduced the number of workplace incidents through removing potential hazards altogether.

Alcoa Australia recently added several safety features to its Willowdale mine in Wagerup, 129km south of the Perth CBD.

The operation has a tunnel and dedicated walkway to separate pedestrians from both light and heavy vehicles. This dramatically decreases the number of interactions between employees and traffic. It also helps avoid potential for “human error” and either serious or fatal injuries.

Alcoa acting Western Australian mines manager Trever Stockil revealed the operation was designed with a main goal of “eliminating” known safety risks instead of just preventing them.

“Historically, preventative controls such as zebra crossings, traffic lights and stop signs are used to manage interactions. However, these rely on human decision-making and the possibility of human error remains very real,” he said in a public statement.

“To eliminate these known risks Alcoa challenged normal practise and re-thought its approach.”

The design was named finalist at the State Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s 2022 Work Health and Safety Excellence Awards.

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