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Winners of NSW Mine Safety Innovation Awards Announced

Miners from across the state’s mining regions have been awarded top honours at the highly coveted NSW Minerals Council Health and Safety Innovation Awards.

The achievements of these miners were celebrated in front of over 400 of their peers at last night’s awards dinner, showcasing some of the best new examples of leading practices, devices and systems from across NSW that help make the industry world class.

NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee, said that the winners reflected the priority modern mining operations place upon safety and innovation, and confirms the world-class status of our 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,” Mr 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,” he said.

Here are the winners:

INNOVATION AWARD

Fit For Purpose Underground Boot

Centennial Coal – The inadequacies of currently available footwear for use in wet underground mines are well known. “Gumboots” protect against water but lack ankle and arch support; have poor levels of wearer comfort; and generate excessive heat within the boot. Leather boots provide ankle and arch support, however are unable to prevent water leaking into the boot. These issues expose our people to a range of Health and Safety risks.  With the assistance of Blundstone, personnel at Centennial have designed and tested a new generation boot that provides high levels of support and stability control while being extremely comfortable and preventing all water ingress.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

BREASI Valve

Ashton Coal Operations – The BREASI Valve is designed to prevent the inadvertent movement of an Underground Diesel machine whilst an external compressed air line is attached. It ensures that the park brake remains applied when an air line is attached, thereby preventing a machine being driven off with the air line attached and consequently reduces the potential risk of injury to persons from an uncontrolled release of compressed air or a recoiling hose.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Remote High Voltage Switching

Centennial Coal – Newstan – Through the implementation of an engineered control, Newstan Colliery has eliminated the potential for injury to operators by the design and installation of a mechanical remote operating panel that is located outside of the arc blast risk zone and out of direct line of sight. The design allows the operator to safely operate the ‘no volt coil’ and the ‘close circuit’ function from a safe remote location.

“The Fit For Purpose Underground Boot from Centennial Coal fundamentally changes how a mining boot is made and addresses an age old health and safety problem. Centennial nailed the risk management process and understood the detail from the problem through to the solution,” NSW Department of Resources and Energy Director of Mine Safety Operations, Rob Regan said today.

“The recent spike in incidents and fatalities in the Australian mining industry is a poignant reminder that our miners face hazards every day and that safety is everything to NSW mining; it is our number one priority, our most important issue,” Mr Galilee said.

“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,” Mr Galilee said.

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