Each month, the train drivers clocked up a staggering eighty five thousand kilometres of driving time behind the wheel after their rail shifts.
“That’s like driving around the world twice, every month." Lorraine said.
“With that much time on that sort of road, it got to the point where more than half of the vehicle fleet was damaged and unroadworthy because of incidents.”
Amazingly, no one had been seriously injured when Lorraine joined the rail team.
“Over time, the dangers of the driver-swap process had just crept up and many people didn’t want to believe there was really a problem," she said.
“Others took the attitude that if there was a problem, it was so insurmountable it couldn’t be fixed."
Lorraine said it was clear that no single person could solve the problem.
“So it was a case of pulling the right people together and supplying them with the right information.”
With the support of her supervisor, Shane, her first step was to bring together a team of train drivers, supervisors, co-ordinators and track maintainers.”
“We gave them the facts and asked them how to resolve this from a safety, production and supply chain standpoint.”
What they created is a system similar to that run by airlines, where staff on longer hauls don’t try and return to home base but stay overnight.
“Providing passionate people with the right information is very powerful and we ended up with a solution that the entire workforce wanted and strove for as a unit," she said.
And the results of the new system speak for themselves.
The distance travelled by car has now dropped by 96% to just three thousand kilometres a month.
Plus there's been an increase of 13 million tonnes of ore transported annually.
“It’s an enormous result and makes me incredibly proud of the team," Lorraine said.