CCAA EH&S Award Winners Announced at NSW Construction Materials Industry Dinner 

The 37th CCAA EH&S Awards were held at the Construction Materials Industry Dinner on Friday 24 July 2015 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. 

In 2015, 33 entries were submitted across the four awards, which focus on improving environmental performance and health and safety outcomes. 

The winners of the Environmental Innovation and Health & Safety Innovation Awards will now be entered into the national awards, which along with the winners in 2016, will then be awarded at the CCAA IQA Construction Materials Industry Conference.

“The calibre of the entries this year was inspiring.  Hopefully, they will motivate the broader industry to investigate whether they too can make simple, cost effective changes within their businesses in order to improve environmental performance and health & safety outcomes”, Todd Hacking, NSW State Director said.   

Environmental Innovation Award Winner
Boral Cement’s lime kiln at Marulan was emitting particulate close to 240mg/m³ at times.  The kiln was on notice from the EPA to improve its environmental performance.  Using computer modelling, Boral Cement personnel identified the inefficiency of the bag filter as the primary cause of the problem.  Setting out to improve the efficiency of the bag filter, the team strategically relocated the water spray system, cooling the gas to below 250ºC, and re-engineered the kiln’s divider wall, which eased air flow.  Cumulatively, these works have seen emissions freefall to just 25mg/m³.  The actions taken have also resulted in much better utilisation of the bag filters, which were forcing the kiln to shut down for premature replacement.  The savings in 18 months, have almost covered the original capital outlay and has vastly improved the kiln’s environmental performance.   

Health & Safety Innovation Award - Winner 
The Seaham quarry team was concerned at the manual handling and confined space risk posed by physically inspecting the screens and chutes.  Using lateral thinking, they adapted a remote control vehicle, fitted with a go pro camera, to carry out this demanding task.  Taking this course of action has removed the need for quarry staff to crawl through the confined space to undertake the inspections and preventative maintenance.  Not only does the remote control vehicle completely eliminate the risks associated with this task but the quality of the vision, the ability to record and store the footage, is leading to better asset utilisation and optimization.  The remote control vehicle has also halved the inspection time, leading to personnel savings.  

Health & Safety Innovation - Highly Commended 
HY-TEC’s Austen quarry requires a Megapoxy liquid to lubricate the cone crusher.  The liquid is thick and heavy and comes in 10kg buckets.  Previously, Austen quarry personnel, would have to transport the buckets up two flights of stairs and pour the Megapoxy.  Access to the cone crusher meant an unsafe posture was being used.  Following involvement in the Participatory Ergonomics program run by the Mine Safety Department, the Austen team sought a new, innovative solution to transport the Megapoxy.  The result is a custom made Kibble, which transports the Megapoxy by a fixed crane rather than carrying 10kg buckets up two flights of stairs on a regular basis.  Taking this initiative has eliminated the repetitive manual handling task.   


Environmental Best Performance - Winner
The Berrima Cement works has been gradually encroached on by the nearby township.  Over and above their legislative requirements, Boral Cement set about taking a proactive approach to dust management for the entire site.  This whole-of-site approach led to old haul roads being closed, new ones sealed, the installation of two new wheel washes and an ambitious revegetation program, which has seen 25,000 seedlings planted thus far with a survival rate of 90% (which is outstanding).  A further 4.4ha of land have been ripped and sown and it is estimated an additional 15,000 stems will emerge. The cumulative performance of these measures has seen dust emissions significantly reduced.  

Environmental Best Performance - Highly Commended 
Holcim’s sand quarry at Bungendore was experiencing problems with its liquid flocculent system, as not all of the ‘fines’ were being removed, which a) led to inconsistent product results and b) was potentially contaminating the recycled water system.  There was also a WHS risk posed by the older system, in relation to transporting the liquid flocculent. The new powder based flocculent and new automated dosing system, has improved the environmental performance out of sight.  Less manual handling, no more leakages and improved product consistency has saved the company $400,000 in the first year alone.  

Health & Safety Best Performance - Extractive 
Hanson has taken a proactive approach at the regional quarry level to provide a consistent approach to anyone using, repairing or operating near electrical equipment.  Using an electrical engineering specialist and after comprehensive engagement with the Department and with Hanson employees, the resulting Electrical Control & Management Plan is set at the regional level and is complemented by site specific plans, which account for the site’s specific needs.  The Electrical Control & Management Plan identifies the risks, hazards, maintenance and operating procedures and policies and has already made a difference to the way electrical equipment is handled on-site.  

Health & Safety Best Performance - Concrete
Holcim’s National Safety Health and Environment Management System is a comprehensive system implemented across all of its sites, however as we all know, it is local leadership, which brings the system to life.  At Holcim’s Mitchell Concrete Plant, it has the lowest injury rating of all Holcim concrete sites – and has had a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate of zero for the past 9 years.  The site’s management have a passion for safety and have implemented a local safety improvement team, which regularly holds whole-of-site audits.  Personnel are encouraged to report any hazards, which are swiftly dealt with.  Local contractors have individualised folders to ensure ease of access to important safety information.  The site is kept pristine and regular ‘zero harm’ days provide a focus for safety in addition to the daily toolbox talks.

For further information, contact Todd Hacking on (02) 9667 8300 or email