The innovation was a finalist under the category; best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue. Only 27 finalists were named out of 80 entrants, with the above category the most highly contested.
“Entrants from Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Tumut were chosen from among 27 finalists in the eight award categories,” said NSW minister for commerce John Della Bosca.
West Wallsend SCADA and PLC technician Shaun Shepherd’s entry has not only given operators at Xstrata Coal’s West Wallsend operation peace of mind but has also reduced machine damage and loss of production.
A longwall three-dimensional view was introduced at the mine to counteract problems with mining under a sandstone roof. Heavy weightings of strata had caused damage to longwall equipment and severe cases of injury via windblast.
The view of longwall chock leg pressures, viewed over a time scale, allowed changes to the roof conditions to be detected, enabling predictive mining sequences to be used.