02 February 2016
A Western Australia Iron Ore project to reduce exposure to health risks has achieved outstanding results for the mobile equipment maintenance team.
Previously, adjusting relief valves on a hydraulic digger took up to 14 hours and had to be completed while working on the piece of equipment in the field. The working environment included noise levels up to 110 decibels and temperatures in excess of 80°C. There were also risks associated with high dust levels, working at heights greater than nine metres, and pressure injection injuries.
To address these risks, the team did an analysis to find ways to reduce or eliminate these potential exposures. They found that the vast majority of work could be done remotely on a hydraulic test bench in a workshop.
This change has reduced potential noise exposure by over 30 decibels and saved the team eight hours of work for each process. It also eliminated the need to work in extreme temperatures or from height, and the reduction in down time will provide significant productivity gains.