Guest Article: Alex Hamilton
Mining is one of Australia’s biggest industries, worth hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
It’s an industry that demands rigorous safety standards in one of the most unforgiving and dangerous work environments – and that’s where temporary fencing plays a part.
While the mining industry has made significant improvements in safety over the last decade, it still has the third-highest fatality rate of any Australian industry, according to Safe Work Australia.
Temporary fencing products must be durable and tough in order to survive the difficult environments of mining sites and the harsh climates of Australia, and there are a number of reasons why temporary fencing is a vital piece of equipment for the mining industry.
Appropriate temp fencing on a mining site can help ensure a safe environment – not just for those working on the site, but those who live and work around the site.
Temporary fencing prevents run off from soil and helps to minimise dust levels – the majority of dust from mining activities comes from mechanical disturbance of rock and soil, and some is also generated when wind blows over bare ground and stockpiles.
It’s not just dust that’s present at mine sites – there are also fine particles from vehicle exhausts and the massive plant equipment that works in the area. According to the New South Wales Government, exposure to dust and particles can have major health impacts.
However, provided that mines are operated with proper dust controls, including the use of meshed temporary fencing, it will reduce the chances of healthy adult workers and nearby residents suffering any serious health effects from exposure.
Temporary fencing and the appropriate sediment control cloths and dust control cloths can minimise dust and particle levels around mining sites.
Protecting your mine site
It doesn’t matter where your mine is situated – even in the back of beyond, in some of Australia’s most isolated spots, security will be an issue.
There are two categories of assets you need to keep safe on site – your equipment and, more importantly, your people.
Technology in the mining industry is among some of the most sophisticated in the world, and while it’s less likely someone will try to steal your big pieces of plant equipment, there are plenty of small but highly valuable pieces of equipment for the taking by anyone who gains unauthorised access to your site.
When it comes to your people, there are numerous health and safety risks they could face every day working on a mining site – including security risks from unauthorised or untrained personnel on site.
Using temporary fencing will clearly define the boundaries of your work site and can stop people who shouldn’t be there from entering.
The benefits of buying temporary fencing for mining companies
If you’re running a mining site, there is no doubt you’ll need temporary fencing on a regular basis – but hiring can be costly, fraught with delays and hidden fees, and loaded with paperwork. Temporary fences must be durable, long-lasting and built to last in Australia’s harsh conditions – including mining sites. It must also meet Australian safety standards.
Buying temporary fencing instead of hiring is more cost effective, because it means a simple transaction with no terms or conditions, no extra costs for extending hire periods and no expensive payouts or paperwork to deal with if the fencing is damaged.
It also means you can be assured of the quality and safety of the fencing, as you’ve chosen it and will keep it well maintained.