UK Coal newsletter NewScene reported the initiatives focus on best practice and aim to improve the management process, increase efficiency, improve machine available time, enhance equipment reliability and provide better rewards for success.
The Daw Mill Colliery in Warwickshire is at the frontline of the new drive and mine officials were recently involved in a pilot project to get frontline supervision more involved in the management process.
During the project the coal face on which four ‘command supervisors’ were working recorded a 16% increase in output and 2% increase in potential.
The main focus of the pilot scheme was to improve the delivery of mine operational plans by the use of short interval control – breaking tasks planned for each shift into hour-long slots in which achievements could be measured against the required target, providing an early warning and time for corrective action in key areas.
The officials took on the role of ‘district foreman’, creating a stronger link between above-ground workstream management and the working district and taking responsibility for delivering the agreed 24-hour unit plan.
The four men said the team approach, with officials staying with the face team during overtime offered benefits and improved continuity of supervision.
“The new approach may be small individually, but incrementally, over the duration of a shift and company wide, they are well worth achieving,” said business manager Phil Garner, project manager for the pilot scheme.
In related news, the Leeds-office of Lloyds TSB Corporate provided UK Coal with £18.75 million funding towards equipment for Daw Mill. The machinery includes the biggest powered roof supports ever built in Britain, each weighing more than 30 tonnes, together with cutting and control equipment.