Rio employees breathe easier

VEHICLES at Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley Warkworth mine are helping employees breathe more easily with the help of a new dust filtration unit.

Vivienne Ryan

In its internal publication, Mine Matters, Rio reported it had fitted dust systems known as Sigma Positive Cab Pressurisation units to two of its light vehicles, with more to follow.


The Sigma contains a high-volume filter mounted on the roof of the vehicles which start once the vehicle’s engine is turned on.


The unit filters the incoming air into the cab maintaining positive pressure.


The project was an initiative of Mount Thorley’s occupational health and safety committee.


“It is all about managing our environment and making the workplace as safe as possible for employees,” Mount Thorley occupational health and safety spokesman Peter Lockwood said.


Rio has strategies to minimise the dust impact from its operations on surrounding communities and this move is to reduce the impact on its employees.


The two vehicles fitted include the dragline support team’s ute and the driller’s Land Cruiser which spend significant time in the pit.