New South Wales miners from the Illawarra/Wollondilly and Hunter Valley regions were reconised at the 2012 NSW Minerals Council OHS Innovation Awards in front of around 550 of their peers.
“Our innovation awards encourage miners to identify areas where health and safety can be improved and then develop and road-test creative solutions that can be adopted at other mining operations,” said NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee.
Below is the list of award winners.
2012 OHS innovation award winner: Ultra lightweight ventilation tubes, BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal (West Cliff Mine), Illawarra/Wollondilly region.
Innovation: In a first for a NSW underground coalmine, trialling new carbon fibre ventilation tubes in place of traditional fibreglass significantly reduces their weight (from 35-40 kg to just 9 kg), increasing productivity and minimising heavy lifting risks like muscular-skeletal injuries.
Highly commended: SOTO tow hitch system, Centennial Coal (Myuna Colliery), Hunter/Newcastle region.
Innovation: This rigid towing device minimises the risk of safety incidents by increasing control of movement while towing heavy mine equipment underground. It can be used in all conditions and can be operated by just one person.
Highly commended: The ‘Marnett’ Belt Lifter Bracket, BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal, Hunter/Newcastle region.
Innovation: This specialised bracket allows conveyer belts without a mechanical belt lifter to be periodically changed without manual handling and pinch point hazards. It saves time by around 25%, can be used on any conveyor and costs less than $300.
People’s choice (voted by conference delegates): Ultra Lightweight Ventilation Tubes, BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal (West Cliff Mine), Illawarra/Wollondilly region. (Also winner of the major 2012 OHS innovation award.)