Key industry figures to lead safety seminar


The impact of automation, critical control management, dust control and aerial observational data will feature on the agenda of an upcoming construction materials safety seminar in New South Wales.
The Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA) and Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) have combined to host the Sixth Annual Quarries & Concrete Safety Seminar on Wednesday, 23 October, 2019.

The single-day program, which includes a trade exhibition, will be held at the Rydges Campbelltown, 60km southwest of Sydney, and is expected to attract some 150 attendees. Its theme is ‘Understanding and managing critical risk’, and will comprise 11 sessions hosted by industry figures representing quarrying, machinery manufacturers, regulatory bodies, campaigners and related industries.

“This seminar is really focused at, not just operations and site managers, but also supervisors and others who are the key to being able to practically influence what happens in their operations,” the IQA’s NSW branch chair James Collings said. “It’s an opportunity to hear some really good messages from people within the industry and people outside the industry, with real life, tangible learnings.”

Collings said the IQA, the CCAA and regulators were working towards a common goal. “The vast majority of quarries or quarry businesses are integrated some way into the concrete game. The risks and hazards we experience, while not exactly the same, have commonality; both have a lot of truck movements, people on foot, conveyor belts, product in overhead bins, airborne dust, noise and hazardous energy sources.”

Ironies of automation

The event’s keynote speaker will be Dr Sean Brady, a forensic structural engineer specialising in the identification of causes of defects and failures in construction and engineering. He is currently undertaking a review into mining and quarrying incidents in Queensland.

In his presentation – ‘The Ironies of Automation’ – Brady will examine how the automation of industry systems, whether by computers or robots, can have unexpected, comical or destructive effects on operations.

This will be followed by Sharyn Cobbin, education and training manager for the University of Queensland’s Minerals Industry Safety & Health Centre, who will discuss critical control management in the quarrying sector.

With insufficient risk identification and control management having the potential to cause serious injuries and fatalities, Cobbin’s presentation will outline nine steps to implement a critical control management program into businesses.

Bill Farry, from Groundwork Plus, will host the seminar’s third session, discussing the use of drone technology to collect and process low altitude aerial observational data to provide geotechnical advice to operational sites.

The interactive program will then feature two case studies. The first is with Collings, who is also Boral’s metropolitan operations manager for NSW and ACT. He will discuss the online induction the company adopts for its quarry sites. Rick Moledo, from Hitachi Construction Machinery – a gold sponsor of the event – will then discuss the development of the Hitachi Safety Strategy ‘Towards Zero’ Injuries.

Impacts on mental health

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and the state’s resources regulator will reinforce their sponsorship of the event, with mines inspector Angus McDouall hosting a presentation on dust safety and controls. NSW regulators will also report on competencies for quarries.

“Silicosis and other dust diseases are a critical risk in our industry and heightening awareness of this and ensuring compliance is key for our regulator. I suspect they will also share their views about what they expect out of competent leaders and how our people can gain and maintain the required competencies, as well as what support the department can provide,” Collings said, noting changes involving practising certificate requirements and tiering systems.

The program also features Scott Tipping, from Hanson, who will host a panel discussion about deaths involving heavy equipment and machinery, and the impact on mental health. Tipping is a passionate proponent of health and safety, having previously raised funding for mental health awareness initiatives and education two years ago, when he travelled from Melbourne to Brisbane by jet ski.

This will be followed by the IQA’s report on professional development and training, before a presentation by Helen Fitzroy, who has campaigned for improved health and safety after the death of her husband in an underground mining incident in 1991.

Jason Kuchel, state director of the CCAA in NSW and South Australia, will deliver the closing address.

Pumice the heart of Japanese construction


The world’s most famous quarries attract attention for their part in iconic landmarks, but few are as unique as a series of sites that have supplied centuries’ worth of pumice rock for Japanese construction.

The small town of Oya, near the mainland Japanese city of Utsunomiya, is at the heart of this phenomenon where the igneous rock, aptly named Oya stone, has been quarried for houses, public buildings, walls and monuments.

Despite its light and porous features, Oya stone is a robust rock that is easily worked and can only be extracted in this region. The result of undersea volcanic activity 20 million years ago, it is thought the Oya stone reserves span 24km2 area around the Oya township, totalling about 600 million tonnes. It came to rest in Oya, 100km inland, due to geologic uplift.

While Oya stone’s history dates back to the 17th century in Japan, the most intensive extractive period was in the 70 years between 1919 and 1986. Oya stone became ubiquitous in public works such as train station platforms, stairs, gates, walls and other structures such as the Matsugamine Catholic Church.

The stone later shot to prominence in Western societies when American architect Frank Lloyd Wright famously ignored the advice of Japanese architects to include the material in the construction of the Imperial Hotel in the Hibiya district of Tokyo.

According to the Japan Times, Wright was told that, given the large quantity of material required, it would be better for him to purchase an entire mountain. The hotel was eventually completed and survived a large 1923 earthquake but was later removed as part of rigorous post-war overhaul of the city’s landscape.

Tourist hotspot

Today, visitors can still see Oya quarried in pockets of the region, such as Kanehon, north of Tokyo. However, the original quarry site remains the true tourist hotspot, after local authorities converted it into a museum in 1979 to preserve the town’s rich history.

The Oya History Museum allows visitors to descend underground into the quarry where more than 300,000 m3 of stone were carved Oya History Museum by hand and, later, with modern stone-cutting machinery over the decades. The original quarry site is approximately 20,000m2 in area and 60m at the deepest point, with a constant temperature of 8℃.

The large underground void is decorated with artwork, and many of the rooms are illuminated with various colours. Concerts, weddings, filming and other events are held in spaces that have been carved out of the mine.


Kleemann – MC 140 Z

Type of Machine Jaw
Model MC 140 Z
Manufacturer Kleemann
Application  Quarry, use in medium-hard to hard natural stone
Output (Tonnes per hour) 750
Maximum Read more