Elouera wins rescue comp

AT the 43rd annual southern mines rescue competition at BHP Billiton’s Cordeaux Colliery in the NSW Illawarra region, eight teams of mine workers from West Cliff, Tahmoor, Elouera and Appin mines tested their emergency preparedness.

Staff Reporter

The longwall mines in the NSW southern districts are moving ahead with implementing full CABA capability for all underground workers.

The mines include BHP Billiton’s Illawarra mines, the Tahmoor and Metropolitan mines. A joint working party has been evaluating the way forward for emergency response for the southern district mines.

Assessment of the CABA system pioneered at the Newlands mine in Queensland lead to the joint decision to implement full CABA capability in all the southern district mines. This means every underground worker will have access to his own CABA unit and to underground refill stations. This stage two implementation of CABA significantly enhances the ability of workers to self-escape.

Bruce Allan, vice president operations, BHP Illawarra said the company had spent $4 million on upgrading its emergency systems.

“This is a significant step forward for us and the industry,” he said. “It gives underground workers the reality of self-escape which they never had before.”

Peter Baker of the NSW Mines Rescue Service said underground workers showed a preference for training with the CABA because they used the actual equipment.

Full CABA capability will also allow in-seam intervention in the event of an emergency developing underground and Mines Rescue plans to provide training to this end to the southern district mines.

For the second successive year Elouera won the competition.