The warning alarm before the real alarm.
The REAL alarm, time to get moving. I have now mastered the art of getting ready in 20-30 minutes. I try to be organised, so I already have my breakfast and lunch packed. I meet my colleagues in our car, and we collect our caffeine fix at the Leinster Hutch. Fancy for a mine site town, I know.
We arrive on-site after the 20-minute drive from camp – in time to attend the maintenance pre-shift briefing. During the meeting, the supervisor and leading hand discuss the repairs and servicing scheduled for the day.
Next stop, the production office to catch up with the night shift supervisor team and ensure there were no safety incidents or complications that need to be resolved.
The production bus arrives, and their pre-shift briefing begins. This meeting gives a general overview, informs the operators of what machine and task they will be completing and the health and safety representative shares a safety learning. Here we also discuss any incidents that occurred the previous day and the initial findings or improvements that may help keep our workplace safe.
I have made it to my desk! I check my emails and start working on my current project – updating our site baseline risk assessment to align with our updated Thiess Safety Essentials. This will ensure our critical controls are adhered to on-site.
I now update our ‘return to work’ presentation which is used to communicate with crews when returning to site. My role is to update the slide pack with any recent safety alerts sent from other Thiess sites or our client, our monthly safety performance and a list of incidents from the last seven days. Each department updates the presentation to include relevant information such as mining plans, geology plans and geotechnical hazard maps.
Our daily performance meeting. Key stakeholders from across our team gather to discuss performance within the past 24 hours concerning safety, maintenance, drilling, blasting and production. We also call out any actions that need to be delegated to an individual or department.
Maintenance walk-around. It’s time to stretch the legs, wander around the workshop and chat to colleagues about the tasks they are undertaking for the day. This is a great way to learn about the different repairs and maintenance that is required on our fleet and any high-risk tasks that are occurring on site.
Our drill and blast department scheduled a blast for 1.30pm. This means they are initiating explosives in a section of the pit that has been pre-drilled and loaded with explosives. To ensure all mining personnel are clear of the blast exclusion zone, we use blast guard signs to block off sections of the main entrances surrounding the pit. Today Iam blast guard four. It is my responsibility to set up cones and notify the blast controller once I have secured the area. I must then remain in my position to ensure no one enters.
I analyse our safety data and send our weekly report to the necessary stakeholders. This includes what incidents have occurred, the number of hazards submitted, field leadership that has happened, what actions are due for the week and the number of open injury management cases. I also explore our safety management system and ensure all events have been submitted with the correct data. This includes witness statements, photos, any property damage costs or impacts to the business. Next, I drive down to the supervisor's office to go through any open investigations. This is where we refer to the evidence and work through the causing factors, ensuring we find solutions and actions to prevent a reoccurrence.
I enter my field leadership interactions to our client’s database. Any safety discussions, task observations or critical control observations (these refer to our safety essentials based on high-risk work) are recorded here, including any at-risk behaviours observed and any feedback provided to the workers. I ensure my diary is up to date for the day to support my graduate development plan and self-appraisal.
Home time. We begin the 20-minute journey home, which surprisingly doesn’t feel like that long ago since we arrived - the days go by very quickly. I catch up on the day and call my partner, and then it’s time for the gym. Thank goodness someone has dinner sorted, by the time I make it to the mess (food hall) it’s 7:00pm. Shower and bed are the perfect combination to end the day before I start it all again.