Mining supervisor champions safety

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Jamie Pickels, Site Supervisor in the Tyre Management business (Otraco), has been awarded the Best Individual, Workplace Health and Safety Achievement at the National Safety Awards of Excellence.

 Jamie was given the award after being recognised for a safety initiative he championed at the Meandu Mine in Queensland.

After identifying a task he deemed high risk to workers (fitting the tyre and rim assemblies), Jamie developed a set of tools to reduce the risk and improve efficiency. Called 'Spacer Plates', this device now allows his team to complete the Hitachi dump truck tyre and rim assembly fitment task in a safe, quick and efficient manner.

"I came up with the idea after assisting with the mobilisation of these vehicles on site. There had to be a better way to fit the tyre and rim assemblies - one that minimised the risk of finger crush injuries and didn't require 3-4 people," said Jamie.

Pictured above is Jamie Pickels with his creation at the Meandu Mine in Queensland. Jamie's simple and innovative design has not only minimised manual handling requirements but also reduced task length by 30 minutes and completely removed the need for a crane and operator throughout the process.

"I think it's fantastic to see Jamie's work recognised in this way. Jamie identified an opportunity for improvement on his site and working in consultation with his team, developed a simple and easy to use solution," said Mick Carr, General Manager, Otraco.

"These kinds of improvements are core to Downer and Otraco's values, and it shows that the simple solutions from our people can solve complex problems for our clients."

Pictured above is Mick Carr (General Manager, Otraco), Paulo Gomes (Regional Senior Safety Advisor, Otraco), Jamie Pickels (Site Supervisor, Otraco) and Greg Glennon (Operations Manager – East, Otraco).

The National Safety Awards of Excellence are the National Safety Council of Australia's (NSCA) premier national independent safety awards, recognising outstanding work in health and safety initiatives. This year, the awards attracted 124 nominations across eight categories.


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  • Craig Tinklenberg
    Craig Tinklenberg Wednesday, 28 April 2021

    Good day! Interesting article. I would really like to understand more how the Spacer Plates assist the tech. Thank you!

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