Safety and Health Resources Sector Awards

In 2017 the Safety and Health Innovation Awards (now the Safety and Health Resources Sector Awards) are being hosted by the Department of Mines and Petroleum as part of their Awards for Excellence. The adoption of the awards in this way will help to raise the profile of innovative solutions shared at the event and ensure a broader dissemination of these concepts across the resources sector.

The Safety and Health Resources Sector Awards aim to promote the application of safety and health innovation across the Western Australian resources sector. The awards recognise individuals, teams and companies which have developed new initiatives and leadership to support the safety, health and wellbeing of the workforce through the implementation of a new process, procedure, design and/or introduction of innovation or new equipment in response to specific safety and health challenges.

The submission period has begun and entry is open to all Western Australian resources sector companies and/or sites, including contractors.

CME encourages companies to nominate their innovative programs, initiatives and systems designed to address safety and health challenges in the workplace and promote better safety and health outcomes for employees.

The submission period closes at 5.00pm Monday, 10 April 2017 and finalists will be notified in August 2017.

Winners will be announced at the Awards for Excellence event in October 2017.

Further information can be found online.

2016 Winners

For further information on the finalists of the 2016 CME Safety and Health Innovation Awards, please see summaries below.

Engineering Category

Karara Mining Ltd - Micro-Mist Dust Suppression System for Primary Crusher Run-of-Mine (ROM) Bin

Excessive dust emissions during ore-tipping operations to the primary crusher ROM bin was identified as a significant safety, environmental, operational and maintenance issue at Karara Mining. Karara initiated the design and installation of a bespoke micro-mist spray system to remediate issues associated with reduced visibility around the primary crusher and exposure to respirable airborne contaminants. Karara collaborated with Enviromist Pty Ltd and Bulk Materials Engineering Australia to design and implement a new, innovative and purpose-built dust suppression system. Since commissioning of the system and throughout its operation, the new micro-mist spray system has delivered on critical safety and environmental improvements including a signification reduction of dust emissions and water consumption.

Systems Category

Barminco - Interactive Virtual Reality Safety Training System

As an International leader in hard rock underground mining, Barminco worked with technology specialists to develop a pioneering innovation - a portable Interactive Virtual Reality (IVR) training system to assist in hazard awareness and ‘new-starter’ training. This IVR technology training tool enables the user to realistically experience the underground environment, in addition to providing an introduction to Barminco’s Start Work In Control (SWIC) safety process. The technology has the ability to introduce hazards to trainees in a realistic, first person point of view without placing them at risk. It engages the user in all levels of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning, making the experience more engaging with higher levels of knowledge retention.

People Category

Rio Tinto - Improving Safety through Breakthrough Methodology and Solutions

With a goal to reduce injuries by half, Rio Tinto’s Yandicoogina operation took a unique approach to safety improvements. Through collaboration, Rio Tinto’s diverse team members applied a ‘Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control’ (DMAIC) Kaizen business improvement methodology, a well-proven methodology typically used for production and cost projects, to identify 20 high-risk manual handling and tooling-related activities. By challenging the status-quo, the risk for each activity was reduced by engineering innovative tooling to make the task safer, easier and more effective. As a result, the site has sustained over 12 months without any recordable hand injuries and reduced its All Injury Frequency Rate by 65 per cent. Rio Tinto acknowledges the contribution of Linkforce, Biosymm and Otraco.

2015 Winners

Engineering Category and Industry Choice – BHP Billiton Mining Area C

Conveyor Belt Replacement Improvement
Conveyor belt replacements are recognised as a hazardous activity. The idea to utilise turning frames to change the way shorter conveyor belts are replaced at BHP Billiton Mining Area C was identified and implemented to safely improve operations whilst making innovative use of existing site equipment by designing a module which can be bolted on to a conveyor’s structure. A testament to the innovation’s success is that it is now used in similar conveyor systems on 4 out of 5 BHP Billiton Iron Ore mines all of which are now enjoying the same benefits of safer and more efficient conveyor belt replacements.

Systems Category – Fortescue Metals Group

Unmanned Aerial System for Cloudbreak Mine Site
The Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is a photogrammetry based system. It uses a mounted camera within the plane to gather spatial information. The innovative implementation of the UAS to undertake stockpile surveys has significantly reduced exposure to health and safety risks encountered by the survey team. Other benefits include; increased productivity and efficiency in survey and mining team activities and increased accuracy in data reporting. As a result of initial success other FMG operational areas are now using UAVs to inspect high risk work areas, removing personnel from high risk tasks altogether.

People Category – Downer Mining

Enhancing Workforce Health Program
Downer Mining’s Enhancing Workforce Health program is a holistic occupational health program born from the need to raise the profile of workforce health recognising the risks that poor health poses to employee safety. The company needed a structured health program that targeted its priority health risk areas. The solution was a commercial research partnership with Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation through which Downer Mining has been able to work with internationally recognised experts to develop a diversified and continuous-improvement approach to managing its priority health risk areas: obesity and nutrition, musculoskeletal disorder and mental health.

The judges also awarded a special commendation for Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s FIVE Mental Health Project in partnership with Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA.

2014 Winners

For further information on the winners of the 2014 CME Safety and Health Innovation Awards, please see summaries below.


Leighton Contractors - Safety Pressure Locking Device
The device was developed after a number of serious incidents involving the unplanned release of stored pressure from pressure vessels on dump trucks. The previous approach relied on tradespeople to check that all pressure had been vented before the pressure manifold was removed. A pressure sensitive locking pin has been added that locks a fitted guard in place if there is any pressure in the cylinder. This ensures the manifold can only be removed when the pressure has been released, allowing the locking pin to disengage the guard


Rio Tinto Iron Ore - The Yandicoogina Safety and Health Representative Development Program
A staged and multi-faceted development program for Yandicoogina’s safety and health representatives comprising of modular group training based on adult learning principles; individual up-skilling of representatives; increased exposure to site management; increased exposure to high level safety and health processes on site; and social events. The overall goal of this program is to develop a cohesive and industry best standard team of representatives on the shop floor who can address team and site issues confidently and professionally.


Toxfree Solutions Ltd - Confined Space I-Surveillance
Using GoPro digital cameras the innovation is an ideal training tool. Newly accredited operators can review footage of tanks they are about to clean and obtain a true appreciation of the conditions they face, associated risks and the ever changing work environment they would not normally experience through verbal communications. Using the GoPro with wi-fi capabilities to transmit video/camera footage to smart phones or tablets situated outside a confined space environment, allowing operators and/or customers to evaluate/address any concerns identified and communicate back via handheld radio. The camera can be attached to a hard hat, chest harness or telescopic pole.

Industry Choice Award Winner

Leighton Contractors - Safety Pressure Locking Device