A decade of electrical safety excellence

11 November 2016

Energy Resources of Australia’s (ERA) Electrical Maintenance and Process Control team at Ranger Mine in the Northern Territory have notched up an important safety milestone this month with 10 years free of Long Term Injuries (LTI).

Over the past decade the team has adopted and actively practised a variety of safety initiatives including Take Five, JHA, Process Safety and CRM programs. Several ESH improvement achievements across site were initiated and completed by the team.

Electrical Maintenance and Process Control Acting Superintendent Alex Spiers said their team’s record of striving to lead permit and isolation processes, as well as responding in a calm and skilled manner to breakdowns had flow on effects for ERA.

“The team consistently prioritises the safety of each other and work mates, above time pressures and environment challenges,” Alex said.

“As a team we will continue to work alongside other departments and we must continue to scrutinise and cross check isolations for our jobs and others.

“We need to encourage each other every day in following JHA and CRM, both beginner apprentices and experienced technicians.”

ERA’s electrical team has a strong commitment to zero harm built on a foundation of:

  • Maintaining competent trained and licensed electricians and technicians;
  • Mentoring apprentice tradespersons in technical skills and workplace electrical safety;
  • Keeping informed of process safety principles and the technical system knowledge;
  • Using and maintaining the appropriate tools and personal protective equipment with regular calibration and testing programs;
  • Staffing a dedicated electrical inspector position to ensure the team align with latest standards and practices; and
  • Providing open team communication, good job feedback and meaningful data on work order paperwork for more efficient planning.

Plant Operations Manager Rodney Moore said to reach a milestone of 10 years was an excellent achievement by the Electrical department.

“The activities and tasks they perform have significant risks associated to the various electrical hazards,” Rodney said.

"The hazards and risks are real and fully understood by every member of the team and more importantly it has the respect it requires to ensure the safety of those who work within this environment.”

The hazards of working with low voltage and high voltage systems are obvious and yet the actual hazard cannot be seen. It requires a high degree of discipline by every electrician and engineer to ensure they remain focussed and attentive to their working environment.

“Whether your job has you behind a desk or out in the most extreme of work environments, there are workplace hazards that need to be managed to reduce, or where possible, remove the risk. It’s up to all of us to keep our own personal safety and the safety of our mates as our first priority,” Rodney said.

Energy Resources of Australia is committed to the goal of zero harm and adopts a combination of clear goals, accountabilities and support mechanisms. This includes encouraging a workplace culture of shared and personal responsibility and accountability for safe behaviour, supported by comprehensive systems, training and support materials.