Heat stress monitoring carried out on NT miners

Thursday, 30 November, 2017

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The impact of heat stress will be monitored at the McArthur River Mine in order to improve the safety of workers.

Menzies School of Health Research will work with Glencore in order to gain an accurate assessment of the effects of heat stress on the workforce and productivity at the mine site and shipping facilities in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Project leader and Menzies researcher Emma Field said the research would contribute to effective prevention measures for all industries working in hot and humid environments.

“The 15-month project to identify the incidence, causes and impacts of heat stress in the MRM workforce began in October with site assessments and staff surveys. Physiological monitoring and work practice observations will take place in December,” she said.

“The Menzies team will provide recommendations for interventions to reduce risk of heat stress that will be practical and low cost.”

The McArthur River Mine is a zinc-lead mine located in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory. In addition to the mine and processing facility, there is a concentrate storage shed and shipping facility at Bing Bong Port, 130 km to the north.

There is a workforce of 1000 drawn from the nearby town of Borroloola, NT, and other parts of Australia. All workers stay in the accommodation village during their time on-site, working to varying rosters.

McArthur River Mine General Manager Sam Strohmayr said the collaboration with Menzies would benefit not only this particular mine, but also anyone who works outside in northern Australia.

“The reality is that some people need to work outside and they are going to be exposed to heat,” Strohmayr said.

“Anything we can do to reduce the risk of heat stress will improve health and safety and contribute to a better working environment.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/vladischern

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