Tomago Aluminium – Workers


Hi, I’m Simon Mitchell. I’m the People
Safety Environment Manager for Tomago Aluminium. Tomago Aluminium is a
business based in the Hunter region in New South Wales. We employ just under
1000 workers here and about 200 contractors. Getting across that number
of people, getting clear messages understood and hearing concerns, can be
challenging at times. One of the things we realise as a business is that we need
to constantly find ways to improve to innovate. Using the PErforM tool is a
great way of doing that. It really sets a great basis for a platform to engage and
listen to workers who can raise concerns. A fantastic example for us of PErforM
being used at its best is about three years ago, one of our employees, Nathan. He
was new to our business came up with a great idea to reduce the risk of injury
to himself and his fellow workers. Hi, I’m Nathan Bevear, I’m a Hotline Operator at
Tomago Aluminium. As an operator, one of our jobs is to tap the metal from the
pots and by that we have to open these tap doors to access the pot. The old
doors were mild steel, quite heavy to open due to the magnetism on the pots.
The task of opening those doors was causing shoulder, elbow and wrist
injuries to our employees. I was actually tapping metal one day and I thought I
could come up with a better idea than what was originally there so I
bought a tape measure in one day in my pocket and measured it up, took it back
to my workshop at home and drew something up. We acted on his idea. I got a group of
people together to explore it at a deeper level. We use the PErforM tool to
assess the risk of that. We set about trialing his initial idea, we made small
modifications to it but fundamentally, the principles he came up with remain
unchanged to today. The new door that I came up with is lot lighter. It’s one lift
to the side and one lift back on. He was able to design a new pot hood design
that was not only lighter for workers to use but also had added advantages in
looking after our emissions and reducing emissions. Most of the old doors have
been replaced with my new door. So that would be
close to 860 doors in there now so, pretty happy, that’s a good feeling.
Reducing the risk of injuries, higher and more happier, engaged workforce as well
as lowering of impact on the environment and I’m proud to say over the last two
to three years we haven’t had any injuries from that task he set out to
solve in the first place. The principles of PErforM give you all of
that and so it makes great business sense to do so.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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