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BHP Billiton HSEC Awards 2014 winners

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World Coal,

Coal operations played a prominent part in BHP Billiton’s HSEC Awards 2014, winning the Excellence award in the Health category for Ben Mason’s “Delivering in the Dyke – Dyke occupational hygiene improvement project” at Illawarra Coal in Australia.

This project at the Appin mine has achieved a “significant reduction” in exposure to noise, diesel particulate matter and vibrations for operators though “equipment assessment, engaging with OEMs and substitution,” according to the citation. This involved connecting the diesel exhaust of the LHD directly to the ventilation system, as well as replacing the existing LHD with a lower-emission vehicle.

Noise reduction of 12 decibels was achieved through equipment substitution, while hand-arm vibration was eliminated by the substitution of handheld drills by a jumbo drilling rig. This also resulted in a 75% increase in production.

Toby Everson of BMA also won a Highly Commended award in the Health category for his programme to reduce particulate matter emissions at the Gregory Criunum coal mine in Queensland.

Coal also finished strongly in the Community category with a Highly Commended award for Esperanza Torres for her project to improve health conditions at the communities neighbouring the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia.

There was also a Merit award in this category for Andrew Garrat of New South Wales Energy Coal for his Warrae Wanni Pathways to School programme. This aims to “break down barriers between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Muswellbrook and create learning opportunities for children before starting kindergarten.”

Finally, there was a Merit award for Rona Dennis and her project to increase biodiversity awareness and improve management of biodiversity risks through employee participation in a fauna and flora observation system at the IndoMet Coal operations in Indonesia.

Commenting on the awards, which are now in the 15th year, Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, told attendees of the awards ceremony that operating sustainably is “the right thing to do” and “makes good business sense.”

“To successfully deliver on our strategy, we must maintain our focus on the health and safety of our people, continue to support our host communities and protect the environment, today and for the long term,” Mackenzie continued. “By creating an environment where people contribute ideas, we are able to implement best practice improvements across the organisation and potentially the broader resources industry.”

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