BHP Billiton's Mt Arthur Coal (MAC) is the largest individual coal production site in the NSW Hunter Valley. Located less than 5 kilometres south of Muswellbrook, the mine in its current form has been in operation for over 10 years producing around 20 million tonnes of energy coal annually for local and international customers. There are plans to increase annual production to 24 million tonnes which has led to developing infrastructure and facilities on and around the site with plans for further expansion in the future.
Mount Arthur is the single largest open cut site in the region and boasts the second largest workforce in the Hunter.
Meeting the challenge of safe working environment
Climate factors can greatly affect the production at Mount Arthur and this challenges the provision of services such as cleaning of the site. Wet weather can double the efforts that produce a quality result due to the dusty and muddy environment; and with a large workforce significant focus on working conditions for employees is important to BHP Billiton.
The magnitude of Mount Arthur means managing and directing resources on the site require clear channels of communication to ensure the required service levels are consistently met and that safety is always a priority in the delivery of services.
BHP Billiton required a facility services company that could focus on the management of site cleaning providing clear rosters and processes and ability to meet standards of Australia and meet safe working conditions for BHP Billiton employees.
Proving a safe workplace for BHP Billiton’s workforce
Through working with managers and supervisors at Mt Arthur Coal, we learnt what their concerns were and found a solution through our people and processes. We built a dedicated team comprising of a manager, supervisors and a team of employees who understood the mining environment. Our team took ownership of their area with safety and quality as paramount.
BHP required a service provider who would fit into the 24/7 operations of Mt Arthur. Assetlink dedicated 20 personnel to this site based on the scale and requirements. We divided the teams into 'am' and 'pm' shifts across a 7 day week. Through discussion with the client, we identified that the majority of administration areas could be cleaned after hours while production areas were serviced twice a day due to heavy traffic use and to provide a safe environment to employees.
To continue a safe environment, we actively promote a safety culture through toolbox talks and safety huddles forming a key part of our communication. This inherits our culture of everyone looking out for our customer and colleagues and meeting our national standard - “safety is not negotiable”.
Through our quality and environmental management systems we minimised chemical usage where possible and with the least amount of environmental impact. Hazardous products and chemicals are avoided and only used where no substitute is available.
Quality services delivered
Through listening to and working with the client, Assetlink was able to provide seamless and uninterrupted servicing for a challenging and demanding site. We made communication with the client at all levels a priority to help ensure the safety, health and comfort of all clientele. We continually look for better efficiencies for BHP Billiton creating better value and a safe working environment for all employees. We engaged a dedicated workforce that understands Mount Arthur’s environment and enhances the quality of service.
By minimising chemical usage we are able to support BHP Billiton environmental charter and help reduce the risk of hurting the environment. BHP Billiton is able to focus on its core business knowing that Assetlink is meeting guidelines for a safe and clean working environment for its employees.
Linking People, Places & Processes
By linking people with places and using proper processes, Assetlink has made our service all about BHP Billiton – delivering our ethos ‘it’s about you’. Finding the right team enables long term quality service delivery by Assetlink. Our team developed a good working relationship with management and operations at Mt Arthur ensuring we understand and respond to their needs.
Our team understand the primary business at Mt Arthur and has put in place processes that suit the running of the site. We were able to customise our processes to the Mt Arthur site and from the beginning worked collaboratively with BHP Billiton to continually meet their needs.