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Hunter Region Branch Newsletter October 2021

Hunter Region Branch
· 873 words, 4 minute read

Read the 9th Edition of the Hunter Region Branch Newsletter.

Message from the Chair


Hennie Du Plooy.jpg

Dear Branch members,

I hope you remain safe and well. As Branch Committee, we have continued to challenge ourselves to find ways to engage with members despite the restrictions we are living under. I therefore encourage you to register for the safety themed webinar we are presenting in October. We remain committed to the Jameson lecture, currently scheduled as an in-person event in November.  We will of course continue to review this and present this in a format that enables the broadest possible engagement.

While the early stages of responding to COVID focussed mostly on the immediate public health response, the broader implications, specifically the mental wellbeing consequences of living under significant restrictions are increasingly being recognised. To mitigate these impacts, it is important to make an effort to consider the wellbeing of those you do have contact with, and to take the time for a call, a conversation, or just a brief check-in.

Take care,

Hennie du Plooy

Chair AusIMM Hunter Region Branch

Upcoming Events – Hunter Region 2021

Tuesday 12th October 4pm – Online. Hunter Region Branch will host the webinar “Occupational incidents in the mining industry in NSW, Australia: Are they influenced by factors in the resources economy?”

Thursday 11th November - Jameson Distinguished Lecture, Newcastle Museum. Topic: “Gekko and innovation – lessons learnt from COVID-19”. See details below. In-person event. Backup plan is to run it as a webinar if COVID restrictions require it.

Unfortunately, our August tech talk at Armidale, “Gold recovery at the Hillgrove mine”, had to be cancelled due to COVID restrictions.

More tech talks are in the planning stage subject to COVID restrictions, and we hope to also have a President’s Dinner coordinated with Congress before the end of the year.

New Members

Congratulations and welcome to the following new members to Hunter Region Branch. We hope to see you at our upcoming events.

Kylie Smith – Associate

Ivan D’Cruz – Member

Mansour Nasrollahzadeh – Member

Isla To – Student

Taylor Fitzgibbon – Associate (Reinstatement)

Fernanda Maluly Kemeid – Member (Grade Transfer)

Krishna Kamol Ghose – Associate

Oliver Smart – Associate

Tejbir Singh – Associate

Subhasish Mitra – Member

Ursula Thresh - Student

Upcoming Webinar – 12 October - Online

Occupational incidents in the mining industry in NSW, Australia: Are they influenced by factors in the resources economy?

Health and safety research has focused on multiple fatality and serious injury events even though the mortality and morbidity toll of less serious incidents is higher.

The webinar presents the results of an analysis of 51 NSW mining incidents that occurred between 2004 and 2019 using published regulatory investigation reports and prosecution summaries. Control failures are examined using the University of Queensland UQR!SK taxonomy that integrates human factors and engineering. The UQR!SK method draws on the International Council on Mining and Metals Critical control management guide.

The analysis also tested if pattern failures conformed to Michael Quinlan’s Ten Pathways to Death and Disaster. This work and other sociotechnical system approaches are used to examine other factors outside the direct control of the work health and safety management system.

Participants will gain a broad perspective on incident causation including human and organisational factors in complex systems. The presentation will challenge safety practitioners to extend the Incident Cause Analysis Method (ICAM) and other root cause methods of incident investigation to include operational and strategic decisions. They should also consider the influence of production pressures, commodity prices & profitability on management decisions. The speaker argues that worker errors occur in the context of work demand and worker capacity mismatch. Also work pressures can be linked with management operational and strategic decisions.

The speaker: Heather has a PhD in systems approaches to occupational incident (as distinct from disasters) causation and prevention in mining. Heather has worked in work health and safety regulation for 20 years, including 10 years as the Manager of the Industry Assistance Unit with the NSW Resources Regulator. The unit developed education resources on fatigue, health management, non-technical skills for mine workers, and human & organisational factors.

Before embarking on a career in safety, Heather worked as an occupational therapist providing occupational rehabilitation and return to work services.

When: Tuesday 12th October 4pm

Speaker: Dr. Heather Jackson

Cost: AusIMM Member $0.00, Non-Member $30.00

Register here.


Upcoming Jameson Distinguished Lecture – 11 November - Newcastle

In Person Event - Thursday 11 November, 5:30pm - 8:00pm

The 8th Annual Jameson Distinguished Lecture will be held at Newcastle Museum.

Topic: Gekko and innovation – lessons learnt from COVID-19.

When COVID-19 hit, the local medical community looked to Gekko to design ventilators as a back-up plan. Gekko design and projects team realised that their core competencies and capabilities, developed over 25 years in the mining supply sector, were ideally suited to this challenge.

Technologically Gekko’s world class capability in hydraulics, pneumatics and control systems meant it could design a unit from first principles using a very limited supply chain and creating new components where necessary.

Speaker: Sandy Gray, Co-founder and Technical Director of Gekko Systems

When: Thursday, 11 November 2021, 5.30pm – 8.00pm

Where: Newcastle Museum, McIntyre Theatrette, 6 Workshop Way, Newcastle

Cost: AusIMM Member $0.00, Non-Member $0.00

Included: Refreshments – will be available prior to the address.

More details and register here.

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