Rocky’s Komatsu staff lead the way in workplace safety

WHEN it comes to outstanding safety initiatives in the workplace, Komatsu Mining Corp. is head and shoulders above the rest.

Komatsu is a global manufacturer and distributor of earthmoving and mining equipment.

The Rockhampton branch has been named a finalist for the Synaco Global Recruitment Safety Award at the Queensland Community Achievement Awards, which celebrates a strong commitment to workplace safety.

Rockhampton safety manager for Komatsu, Greg May, said his team were very excited when they found they had been named finalists.

“We were all very excited, but Komatsu Mining Corp. Rockhampton’s Electronics Centre of Excellence team members, Daniel Visser and Robert McKenzie, put in all the hard yards and deserve this praise,” he said.

Mr May said Mr Visser and Mr McKenzie’s proactiveness in preventing a workplace injury was behind the nomination.

“We were asked to test variable frequency drive circuit boards and when we put everything in place to do the testing, we identified then there was a very serious potential for inadvertent contact with 400 volts of electricity,” he said.

“We identified the risk was too high through the risk assessment process and couldn’t go ahead with the test until we put some safeguards in place.

“The boys over in the Electronics Centre of Excellence came up with a plan to build a cabinet with electrical lockouts on it, which worked as a safeguard.

“When they inserted the equipment for testing inside the cabinet, it was totally dead, so you couldn’t come into contact with any live components.

“What we have done by building this cabinet is eliminate any risk of our workers coming into contact with the 400 volts of electricity.”

Overall, Mr May said both long and short-term goals were to keep the workplace and the people in it safe and drive to “zero harm”.

He said daily the team would participate in “safety lead indicator activities”, where they identify a hazard and put some controls around that hazard to prevent people from getting hurt.

“We also do safety observation interactions. The leaders of the business here in Rockhampton go out and have safety conversations with the workers about what they are doing, what hazards they are working with and if there is anything that can improve safety and eliminate those risks,” he said.

“Our target is ‘zero harm’, and as far as I am concerned there is no other target. You don’t plan for people to be hurt. It has been 273 days since we have had a significant injury, so we have had a period of ‘zero harm’.

“It is achievable and we just need to work on continuing that period of ‘zero harm’.”

Mr May said he was confident they could take home the award and was proud of all his team had achieved.

“I think we are in with a very good shot and would love to take home the top gong,” he said.

“We are extremely proud of Dan and Robert, who previously won an internal safety award as well for the same cabinet – the Komatsu Queensland Safety Award.

“We hope they continue to work with us for many years to come and continue to work hard at identifying ways to prevent people from getting hurt here at Komatsu.”

Winners will be announced at the awards gala presentation dinner on Friday, November 29.

Komatsu Mining Corp. is located at 80 Featherstone St, Rockhampton, and open Monday to Friday 8am–4pm.