SafeWork NSW Excellence Award

Safety innovation honoured for unique solution to centuries old maritime practice

4 November 2019

Port Waratah Coal Services has been awarded the SafeWork NSW Excellence Award, for their innovative Marine Survey Trolley; delivering operational benefits while eliminating workplace risks.

 The prestigious accolade was announced at the annual SafeWork NSW Awards ceremony, the state’s premier safety awards.  The Excellence Award is selected from the pool of category winners, in which Port Waratah was named Winner, Safe by Design – Best Solution to High Risk Work Health and Safety Issue. This follows the Highly Commended Port Waratah received at the National Safety Awards of Excellence for Best Solution of a WHS Risk (Medium to Large Business).

  “Continuously improving the way we work is integral to our safety performance, with the aim of working free from injury, illness and harm,” said the Chief Executive Officer of Port Waratah, Hennie du Plooy.

 “Whilst we as a business are responsible for providing a safe site for employees, contractors and visitors, we are also committed to empowering our employees to make safer choices and encourage a shared responsibility for health and safety.”

 The Marine Survey Trolley was developed in response to a potentially fatal risk for the marine surveyors when undertaking draught surveys on the vessels berthed at Port Waratah. Standard industry practice is for the marine surveyor to descend a rope ladder from the vessel and read the draught marks as close to the water line as possible. A practice that has been in place for over 200 years. This presents potential safety risks ranging from falling at heights to fatality due to the proximity to water, infrastructure and vessels.

 A Port Waratah tradesperson identified the risk and, in response, developed a prototype. From there, stakeholders were engaged, and feedback was collected for employees to workshop ideas to arrive at the final design. The device, now in use by marine surveyors across the Port of Newcastle, was developed through an extensive consultation process with key stakeholders.

 “The process to develop the Marine Survey Trolley speaks volumes of the ownership our people have over health and safety, and we extend the gratitude and praise to the employees at the center of this safety improvement,” Mr. du Plooy said.

 The completely unique, industry-first device has been implemented at our sites since December 2018, with notable operational and safety benefits being realised during that time. Not only does it eliminate risk, but it is cost-effective, efficient and provides a more accurate draught reading.

 We are pleased to be working collaboratively with other port users locally and across Australia to implement the device to provide a safer environment for marine surveyors across the industry.

For more information please contact

Paul Chamberlin

Office:  (02) 6239 7037

Mobile: 0419 233 989