Rio Tinto Case Study

Rio Tinto Coal Australia’s Hail Creek Mine, located 120km south-west of Mackay in Central Queensland, supplies steel mills in Asia and Europe with up to eight million tonnes of hard coking coal per annum. It is an open cut mine using a dragline, truck and shovel method.

Safety needed 24/7

More than 940 employees work in shifts to keep the Hail Creek Mine (HCM) operational 24/7. Shuts are normally completed on a two-week cycle with the plant shut down for periods of up to two days. Work orders are created in SAP for the various jobs to be undertaken, including both repetitive preventative maintenance tasks and repair work.

The information from SAP is downloaded and manipulated in spreadsheets to provide an aggregated list of work for each of the six main plant areas. This list of work is then populated into permits and the required level of isolation determined.

The HCM standard approach is to firstly select the high level isolation points and then adjust the isolation plan where the work scope defines that a lower level of isolation is necessary. This requires manual modification of the isolation plan and exposes an area of risk and possible errors of omission. HCM required a solution which minimised this risk but which also aligned with Rio Tinto Coal Australia’s internal isolation procedures used across the company’s other sites.

Avoiding conflicts and costly errors

Hail Creek Mine selected SageISOLATE, a Sage Technology safe work solution that adds rigour and efficiency to isolation management. SageISOLATE was configured to mirror current processes at Hail Creek, ensuring there was minimal change to existing work practices and to simplify user uptake. The system is easy to use and encourages personnel to follow Rio Tinto Coal Australia’s internal isolation procedures.

SageISOLATE includes a number of capabilities that provide direct safety benefits at Hail Creek, including:

The use of templates for isolation planning in SageISOLATE supports the work planning processes by:

What do I do next?