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Article published in Safe to Work

Conveyor belt company Fenner Dunlop has recorded 365 days injury free at its West Footscray manufacturing plant.

Fenner’s oldest manufacturing facility has supplied many Australian mining operations, including coal mines between the Hunter Valley and Bowen Basin.

More than 100 employees work at the Footscray plant and it’s been Fenner’s priority to evolve the safety procedures at the historic facility.

Footscray External 900X600

“Due to the nature of our industry, there are lots of safety hazards our team need to be alert to when performing work in our manufacturing plant – such as mill knives, in-running nip points and crane movements – just to name a few,” Footscray’s health and safety advisor Damian Vincent said.

“As one of Fenner’s earliest established factories, some of our equipment is dated. It’s not unusual for our team to be running machines from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

“As a result, we have invested heavily over the last two years to improve safety. We’ve installed centralisers on almost all of our machines, motorised mill nip control, calendar automatic trim knives and overhead crane safety control.”

The Footscray team also undertook a second round of SafetyCircle training this year to ensure their understanding of safety procedures was where it needed to be.

“With regular, up-to-date SafetyCircle training, we are able to reinvigorate safety engagement with our operators and increase issue identification.”

Footscray plant manager Hong Koh said another key initiative introduced by Fenner has also helped increase safety awareness.

“Our daily pre-start meeting agendas are opened with a safety address. We ask team members if there are any hazards they’ve identified in the workplace within the last 24 hours that need reporting,” Koh said.

“The ‘hazard hunt’ helps us facilitate contributions from all members of our team.

“When we initiated the ‘hazard hunt’ activity back in 2019, 68 hazards were identified. Our team’s hazard identification strengthened over the next year, as we saw a significant improvement in reporting accuracy and precision.

“Today we have eliminated almost all hazards, with minimal remaining open for corrective action.”


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