Spoke in Brief: Australia, March

Spoke in Brief: Australia, March

Welcome to the March edition of Spoke in Brief Australia. Featured this month are the following stories:

Please note: images for this update were taken at a point in time prior to the COVID-19 situation. Our businesses are actively observing all health and safety measures in line with government requirements. For the latest formal COVID-19 advice, please visit our Resource Hub on the intranet.

This is a safety intervention

Safety pause at InfraBuild Construction Solutions Forrestfield (Photo taken prior to COVID-19 situation, for the latest formal COVID-19 advice, please visit our Resource Hub on the intranet.)

Did you know that nearly all direct causes of our incidents are because of human error (at-risk behaviour)?

We define at-risk behaviour as any action (or lack of action) that puts our people, equipment or processes at risk – where it may not result in an incident, but may end in a near miss, property damage or injury.

The key is to have a workforce that looks after each other. A workforce which has the maturity to give and receive feedback and not look the other way.

The GFG intervention program focuses on identifying, responding and reporting at-risk behaviour to learn from our errors and to eventually develop unconscious safety behaviours.

The program will empower our people to intervene when they see workmates undertaking risky behaviour – giving them the power to act.

Head of Safety Fran Nores says the goal is to develop unconscious safe behaviours.

“Making sure we call out, discuss and learn from ours and others at-risk behaviour will develop unconscious safe behaviour,” says Fran.

“This year we are focused on helping people to intervene, and to give and receive feedback. It must be everyone’s responsibility.”

“We hope to be able to give all of our people across Australia the confidence and power to not only keep themselves safe but their workmates too.”

Our Newcastle Rod Mill, part of InfraBuild, championed the early adoption of safety interventions over the Christmas Shutdown period, installing ‘Safety Graffiti’ boards to bring a renewed focus on safety for our people that work there.

Installed along the walkway between the car park and Mill’s entrance our people remind each other to “make the time, take the time,” and that “mates look after mates”.

Look out for your safety intervention in coming months or reach out to your safety representative for more information.

While you’re here, check out the latest promo video for a safety campaign in collaboration with the Port Adelaide Football Club.


Tahmoor South Project amends plan in response to submissions

(Photo taken prior to COVID-19 situation, for the latest formal COVID-19 advice, please visit our Resource Hub on the intranet.)

SIMEC Mining has lodged an amended plan for the proposed southern continuation of the Tahmoor coking coal mine – known as the Tahmoor South Project – in response to community and NSW Government feedback.

The revised plan features significant reductions in key environmental impacts while preserving important local area and regional economic benefits and community support. It will now be considered by planning authorities before being assessed by the Independent Planning Commission of NSW in coming months. In parallel, SIMEC’s Tahmoor team will embark on a further period of community consultation.

Matt Reed, Executive Managing Director at SIMEC Mining, said: “While the great majority of community submissions on our original plan for the mine extension were supportive and no Government department objected to the proposal, we have worked hard to address some important and constructive requests and submissions that have been made.”

“The revised plan contains significant environmental impact improvements while also preserving, if not improving, important local area economic and community support benefits.”

If approved, the mine extension will be a major source of employment and related economic stimulus valued at around $160 million for the local shire over the next 13 years of operations.

Visit the Tahmoor South Project website for more information


Playing a key role in building Australia’s future

InfraBuild Construction Solutions’ custom designed headstock 

From delivering customised headstocks for new rail lines to providing steel for Australian city skylines, InfraBuild and Primary Steel are helping to build key infrastructure across the nation.

Innovation and digital technology has helped InfraBuild Construction Solutions provide a customer-focused solution as part of a key project connecting Adelaide’s Tonsley Precinct with the Flinders Medical Centre.

They’ve used 3D modelling software to redesign nine complex headstocks which support the structure of a sweeping 650-metre-long rail extension connecting the two hubs.

By modelling the design first, InfraBuild Construction Solutions were able to redesign the headstocks to suit the requirements of the rail line, which is elevated over a series of roads.

“A lot of work was done analysing each individual bar shape as they varied one to the next. We ended up creating a full-size template for each bar. Once they were made, we’d sit the bar in the template and see if it needed adjusting. That way we knew exactly that what we were sending to site was going to work,” said Project Manager Matt Bell.

In Sydney, InfraBuild Reinforcing and Construction Solutions has recently celebrated the last of their core pours at the new Crown Casino and hotel building in Barangaroo.

The tower, being built by Lendlease, has 75 floors and a total height of more than 271 metres, making it the tallest building in Sydney (excluding the observation deck at Sydney Tower).

Back in South Australia, our specialist capabilities are being recognised through InfraBuild Steel Centre Port Adelaide’s supply of rail to BHP’s expanded Olympic Dam operations, north of Whyalla.

InfraBuild Steel Centre is supplying a large amount of 50kg head hardened rail, produced by the Whyalla Steelworks, to BHP’s Olympic Dam operations for their new underground ore transfer system. Olympic Dam is one of the world’s most significant deposits of copper, gold, silver and uranium, and the underground mine has more than 450-kilometres of underground roads and tunnels.

The rail being supplied has hardness levels more than 1100mPa, requiring special expertise to be created. Beamline operator Denis Vujanic fine-tuned the process to ensure accurate and efficient cutting and drilling, while maintaining the integrity of the machines and blades. This complex project is delivering results for the business and is showcasing our capabilities to the mining sector.


Whyalla Jetty takes shape

The jetty in Whyalla under construction

The new and improved Whyalla Jetty is proving there’s truth to the old saying, everything comes full circle.

The jetty has been taking shape over the past few months, bringing to life the circular design that was the most popular vote chosen by Whyalla residents. The circle motif is an apt and fitting nod to the recyclable nature of its structural material – the steel for the original jetty was produced by the Whyalla Steelworks in the 1970s before being taken back to the steelworks scrap yard to be recycled.

Upon completion, InfraBuild Steel Centre will have produced 140 tonnes of structural steel for the replacement jetty.


ARC Bathurst supports Lithgow’s Secret Creek Sanctuary 

Secret Creek Sanctuary accepting the donation. (Photo taken prior to COVID-19 situation, for the latest formal COVID-19 advice, please visit our Resource Hub on the intranet.)

ARC Bathurst are proof the GFG value of ‘family’ is alive and well among our workforce.

A generous donation to Lithgow’s Secret Creek Sanctuary is helping the not-for-profit organisation recover from damage sustained in the recent bushfires and continue its work in protecting native wildlife.

ARC Bathurst saw the plight of the wildlife sanctuary, which suffered extensive damage to its animal enclosures, and decided to show its support by donating $10,000 worth of fencing supplies to help with the repair and recovery process.

The donation included around 1000 metres of fence line as well as some supports and extra wire to help with the sanctuary’s damaged fencing.

ARC Bathurst Branch Manager Rob Lowe said employees and teams across the country were donating funds.

“We distribute funds to organisations that staff members decide on and in the process, someone mentioned the sanctuary, so we contacted them to see what we could do and what they needed, it turned out they needed fencing,” he said.


Continuous Improvement at the Whyalla Steelworks

(Photo taken prior to COVID-19 situation, for the latest formal COVID-19 advice, please visit our Resource Hub on the intranet.)

Living our key values, the Whyalla Steelworks is well on its way to becoming a more sustainable business through our continuous improvement program, with the latest improvement reducing downtime and machine wear and tear.

A critical machine component in the production of steel are rolls, which guide, convey and shape our steel bars.  Over the course of their life, rolls are exposed to intensive wear and tear and can negatively impact the quality of our steel products if they are not right – at the same time they are costly for the business to replace.

To extend the life of our rolls and reduce the cost of roll maintenance for the business, the Steel Products process development team initiated a trial of LaserBond guiding rolls in August 2018. Since then the rolls have only shown minor wear after nearly a year and a half of service – drastically different in comparison to the original rolls in the mill.

At the same time, while our steel is being rolled, a key factor in ensuring premium surface quality is the use of high-pressure water (HPW) descaling. This water is sprayed during the process, but the mill’s performance is impacted by the efficiency and reliability of spray nozzles.

Working with suppliers, the team implemented a new technical process to ensure correct HPW nozzles were installed in the right conditions for each rolling. This change has reduced downtime caused by the descaling from an average of 12.6 hours per month to 1.5 hrs – and reduced the wear on each roll even further.

These are just a few examples of our people working together to innovate and build a sustainable future for the business and the broader industry. The continuous improvement program is a key initiative at the Whyalla Steelworks and aims to deliver better quality products for our customers more efficiently and with less cost.


1 Comment

    • Tammy
    • 31 March, 2020

    Some great work done around the GFG group. Well done all.


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