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The gold standard

A successful day the IQA National Conference was followed by a night of excellence as a lucky few went home with awards to commemorate their hard work.

A successful day at the IQA National Conference was followed by a night of excellence as a lucky few went home with awards to commemorate their hard work.

The 63rd Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA) National Conference was held in Newcastle, NSW on 29–31 March.

The awards ceremony took place on day two of the conference during a dinner hosted by Komatsu at the Newcastle Racecourse.

Nine awards were announced, including Quarry Operator of the Year Award, Conference Exhibitor of the Year Award, Gold Environment Award and the Excellence in Innovation and Community Engagement Award.

“Yesterday we celebrated and recognised the achievements in the area of safety and, of course, the individual recognition of quarry manager of the year,” IQA chief executive Kylie Fahey said. 

“Last night I was privileged enough to be sat with John Stanton who received the President’s medal. 

“Listing to John’s achievements it made me reflect on the purpose of our networks and the quote that James opened with from Will Smith: “If you are not making people’s lives better then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better”. 

“John has supported others in so many ways with his work through the institute and numerous organisations,” Fahey continued. 

“This made me think about this next category, the Quarry Operator of the Year (Award). We have heard around the challenges of labour in this area and the IQA has recognised it needs to more in training operators. 

“We revised the criteria in this category and are working hard to offer develop offerings relevant to our operators,” Fahey said. 

The Quarry Operator of the Year Award recognises an individual quarry operator’s personal commitment and leadership in occupational health and safety (OH&S and risk, environment, and operations. The award also recognises demonstrated excellence in exceeding defined objectives and outcomes of their prescribed role.

This year, the award went to Holcim Albion Park Quarry site trainer David Lide who is one of the longest serving members at the quarry.

The award was sponsored by RTV Training and was judged by RTV Training director Marie McDonald and IQA WA branch chair Tinus Nagel.

The judging panel agreed that Lide’s nomination was outstanding, and he scored a perfect 10 in all categories.

Lide is driven by best practice performance and works hard to communicate to all employees what they should be looking for, to achieve the best results for the site.

The judges noted that he shows great passion and dedication to train his fellow peers and ensure their knowledge and competency is safe and productive. 

They described him as an empathetic and natural leader who passes on his knowledge to his employees to ensure they are aware of training pathways to move up the levels and to achieve a best practice baseline. 

Lide received a framed certificate and accredited training up to the value of $3500 through RTV Training.

Likewise, the IQA wanted to thank all its sponsors and exhibitors. “You supported us as we adjusted the date and have provided the support to enable the IQA to make this conference the biggest and best yet,” Fahey said. 

Correspondingly, the Conference Exhibitor of the Year Award recognised the supplier with the most creative and engaging exhibition and involvement in the IQA 2021 conference held in Newcastle, NSW.

The award requires the winner to demonstrate and embody the highest standards of professionalism, IQA code of conduct, as well as the professional standards and values of the IQA.

The award was judged by selected members of the conference organising committee, led by Scott Whitaker. 

This year, the award winner was GreaseBoss. The 2022 IQA Conference chair and IQA NSW branch chair James Collings presented the award to GreaseBoss chief executive Steve Barnett.

GreaseBoss was established in 2020 and develops cloud-based software to help prevent heavy machinery breakdowns. 

Going for gold
The Gold Environment Award was sponsored by Groundwork Plus and presented by Groundwork Plus laboratory business manager David Gregson.

The award recognises a site’s contribution toward the advancement of environmental management. 

This contribution can be either quarry rehabilitation, pollution control, or a new or improved work process that enhances environmental management.

“We heard yesterday from Tegan Smith Principal of Groundwork Plus on the perception of our industry and the power of language. This perception is negative,” Fahey said. 

“Sustainability and ensuring our industry addresses this negative perception will evolve as we manage to reduce any negative impact on the environment.”

Hanson Construction Materials environmental planning and compliance manager Lisa-Jane Hults received the Gold Environment Award.

Hults’ nomination is evidence of her passion for successful and positive environmental outcomes within the Hanson business and across the wider industry. 

The Gold Environment Award was judged by Groundwork Plus chair Dave Doolan and RW Corkery managing director Mitch Bland.

They found Hults’ publication ‘Best Practice Guidelines for Management of Phytophthora Dieback in the Basic Raw Materials Industries’ to be fantastic example of her commitment to continuous environmental improvement. 

They noted that they were not aware of a similar guideline and felt that the approach to risk identification and mitigation is simple and easy to understand. 

The guidelines were written in collaboration with Main Roads WA, multiple Western Australian Local Government authorities, Curtin University, Murdoch University, and Hanson.

The guidelines outline ways in which basic raw materials (BRM) producers and suppliers can minimise the spread of Phytophthora Dieback – a soil-borne plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomic which causes the death of many native plant species on sites infested with the pathogen.

Dieback is a major plant disease of native vegetation in the south-west of WA and infested areas are known as dieback sites.

Dieback is spread in soil and water and the BRM industry poses a significant risk of spreading this disease when using material sourced from infested pits. 

These guidelines provide advice on general considerations such as hygiene/dieback management plans, green card training, contractors, and sales and marketing. 

Specific guidance is provided for all stages in the operation of a mine or quarry. 

The techniques also aim to help minimise the spread of pests, other pathogens, and weeds in BRM sourced from agricultural sites. 

The panel acknowledged that while the guidelines provide limited impact on any one operation, the guideline offers a very substantial positive benefit for the industry as a whole.

Hults was thrilled to receive the award and thanked everyone that worked on the guidelines with her. 

“The award is welcome recognition of our contribution to the publication of the ‘Best Practice Guidelines for Management of Phytophthora Dieback in the Basic Raw Materials Industries’,” Hults said in a post on LinkedIn. 

“Hanson has worked with the Dieback Working Group for nearly a decade and this collaboration has allowed us to learn how best to manage our operations, protect our restoration efforts onsite and in turn, allowed us to share our knowledge with the wider community to improve dieback management. 

“Congratulations go to everyone involved” she concluded. 

Hults was presented with with a stone trophy and framed certificated to commemorate her win. 

The trophy stonework was done by Gosford Quarries, which also took home the Gold Hard Hat Site Safety Award. 

The Gold Hard Hat Site Safety Award recognises a site’s contribution to the advancement of OH&S in the quarry industry. 

This includes: demonstrating sustained leadership in the area of OH&S; successfully implementing a suggestion, improvement or invention relating to equipment, processes, training, safety management, industry/community representation that has resulted directly in improved OH&S outcomes; or sustained excellent performance over a 12 month period of time which demonstrates improvements in OH&S at the site and within the industry.

Valuing innovation and community engagement
The IQA prizes innovation and believes that engagement with the wider community is a vital part of modern operations.

Therefore, the Excellence in Innovation and Community Engagement Award recognises an individual’s contribution to excellence and innovation in the quarry industry, including outcomes in community engagement and consultation.

The contribution can be for innovation in design, production, operations, automation, plant design, maintenance, or processes as a single event or for a longer-term contribution to improvement over a period of time. 

The innovation should show improvements in measurable outcomes. The winner will also be able to demonstrate engagement with peers, the industry and/or the community.

The award was sponsored by Eltirus and presented by Eltirus chief executive Steve Franklin.  

Metro Quarry Group – now Metro Quarry Sands after being bought by Barro and Adbri in a joint venture – won the Excellence in Innovation and Community Engagement award. 

At the time of the nomination, Metro Quarry Group chief executive Brendan Carruthers led the innovation and worked closely with Metro Quarry Group accountant/regulatory and compliance Natalie Summonds and Metro Quarry Group senior quarry manger Adam Mantel.

The award has been given to the team for its three-year journey to implement technology to improve the technology used to assess and manage the site. The judges have deemed the level of innovation worthy of recognition. 

On the night of the awards, David Cilento FIQ collected the award on behalf of the group. 

The award will be presented at an IQA Victorian Branch event later in the year.

“I would like to acknowledge Steve Franklin from Eltirus – the sponsor and on the judging panel. Representatives from Metro Quarry Sands could not be with us today. The award will be presented to them in person at a future Victorian Branch event,” said Fahey

The IQA was pleased to announce the award winners and give recognition to businesses and individuals working to advance safety and sustainability within operations. 

One of the IQA’s core priorities is to ensure everyone has a safe workplace and nobody is injured at work. 

It believes that ongoing training and updating worker skills is key for maintaining and developing health and safety across the industry. 

To support this, the IQA has numerous training programs.

For example, NSW has mandatory CPD that supports improving health and safety outcomes. To support this, the IQA is running a national Supervising for Safety workshop.

The workshop has been designed to prepare quarry supervisors to meet their obligations for managing workplace risk, and to provide them with the skills to effectively supervise and lead for safety. 

This workshop is relevant to all supervisors working in quarrying and small mines. Hunter Branch running Supervising for Safety on Thursday 21 July 2022 in Argenton, NSW. •

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