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New safety innovations developed in NSW mining industry

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The NSW mining industry has recognised some of the best innovations in safety over the last year at last night’s NSW Minerals Council Health and Safety Innovation award ceremony.

The top honour for Innovation went to Centennial Coal for their Fit-for-Purpose Underground Boot.

Tested by personnel at the Centennial mine, their winning entry was a specially designed underground mining work boot, developed in conjunction with Blundstone, which provides ankle support and sole stability, comfort and full prevention of water ingress.

NSW Department of Resources and Energy director of mine safety operations Rob Regan said the new boot has fundamentally changed the way a mining boot is made.

“Centennial nailed the risk management process and understood the detail from the problem through to the solution,” he said.

The People’s Choice and Highly Commended award went to Ashton Coal operations for the BREASI valve.

The valve prevents inadvertent movement of an underground diesel machine while a compressed air line is attached.

Essentially, the valve ensures that the park brake remains applied while an air line is attached so that the vehicle cannot drive away, which prevents the danger of the air hose tearing off and recoiling and releasing air uncontrolled.

Centennial’s Newstan Colliery took a Highly Commended award for implementing a new engineered safety control, one which eliminates risk of injury and death by placing remote operating panels outside of arc blast risk zones, allowing the worker to safely operate ‘no volt coil’ and ‘close circuit’ functions from a safe distance.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the winners reflected the priority given by modern mining operations to safety and innovation, and confirmed the world class status of the 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,” 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.”

Galilee said that a recent spike in accidents and fatalities in the Australian mining industry was a poignant reminder that safety is the number one priority.

“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,” he said. 

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