In what is thought to be an industry first, the Thiess Asset Operations team QCoal Northern Hub has designed, engineered and trialled a solution to significantly reduce manual handling risk for tyre fitters.
With no off-the-shelf solution available, Thiess entered a 12-month collaboration with plastics manufacturer, National Plastics, to develop a nylon rim cleat for mobile plant equipment.
Previously, the tyre-fitting task was performed by two fitters installing a steel cleat weighing more than 31-kilograms from a step ladder. Using the new solution, a single fitter can install a 5.8-kilogram nylon cleat to the machinery.
The 25-kilogram weight reduction makes an immediate difference to handling and fitting improving safety, reducing task complexity and increasing efficiency.
Having successfully trialled on the Hitachi EH4000 fleetthe nylon rim cleat is now being engineered and manufactured to fit other plant equipment across Thiess sites globally and the wider industry.
The team has been named a finalised in the Safety category of the Queensland Mining Awards in recognition of their innovative initiative. Good luck for the winners announcement!