Jerry Bailey began his mining life in 1980 as a cadet mine engineer. He worked as a machine man and miner driver for a number of years, obtained his third class ticket, moved onto production and maintenance on the longwall before becoming longwall co-ordinator.
In his spare time Jerry said he enjoyed “the usual testosterone charged activities and going bush every opportunity I can get”
ILN:What is your earliest mining memory?
JB: An introduction to a short handled shovel and told we would be spending some considerable time together.
ILN: What made you choose mining as a career?
JB: An opportunity to fill in time while awaiting entry into the NSW Police Force.
ILN: What was your favourite job in a coal mine?
JB: Pulling pillars.
ILN: Who, or what, has most influenced your mining career?
JB: Some of the earlier Mine Managers at Ulan, who all spoke of the future that Ulan had in the coal industry.
ILN: What do you consider your best mining achievement?
JB: Remaining relatively injury and incident free in the industry to this point.
ILN: What do you see as being the greatest mining development during your career?
JB: Automation and greater use of PLC technology.
ILN: Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
JB: A few but none concern mining
ILN: What was your most embarrassing moment in a coal mine?
JB: Too many to mention
ILN: What was your scariest time in a coal mine?
JB: Being on shift during the evacuation of the mine during the fire of August 1991.
ILN: What is your worst memory of coal mining?
JB: The fire.
ILN: Do you think that the day of the fully automated remotely operated face is near?
JB: Yes. As technology increases, mine workers will become technicians and will be in a role as observers and programmers to ensure the equipment continues to run efficiently.
ILN: What major improvements would you like to see on longwall operations?
JB: More work done in the control of “fly rock” from shearers.