A truck carrying ore drives through the mine.

New early start night shift improves productivity

A new early start night shift option is now on offer for the Bamboo crew of haul truck operators at Western Australia Iron Ore’s (WAIO’s) Newman Operations West and it is improving productivity. 

The Bamboo crew is a dedicated ‘hot seat’ crew of haul truck operators who act as relief truck drivers that operate during meal break times (09:30 to 16:30 and 21:30 to 04:30 on nights). 

With before and after school care/childcare/childminding alternatives not available to many night shift operators, WAIO’s Newman Operations West experienced a high turnover of Bamboo crew operators who were unable to balance their work and family commitments. 

In response to concerns raised by the crew, a number of options were trialed to find a solution that would better support and work for our people. As a result, Newman Operations West now offer the Bamboo crew and flex workers two seven hour night shift options to suit their individual requirements: the new early starter shift (17:30 to 00:30) and the regular night shift from 21:30 to 04:30. 

To assess the impact of the new early start night shift on production, the team monitored the difference in the number of loads that were completed with the new early shift times, as compared to previous shift times. Calculated over a full year, the extra shift has the potential to move an additional 800,000 tonnes of material, increase truck hours and reduce delays.   

This process is being replicated at Newman Operations East where start times are staggered during the shift change-over period to minimise shift change impacts.