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Whitehaven Coal Limited : Annual Report 2011
18 SAFETY The safety and wellbeing of our workforce is our key priority and our safety culture is being further developed as our business expands in size and complexity. We recorded a significant increase in the number of individual hazard assessments and toolbox talks as well as improving our incident investigation and root cause analysis. Despite the increased awareness of safety across the business, our key safety performance measure – Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate – has shown an increase this year, particularly in our open cut mines. We are determined to rectify this trend in LTIFR and a number of initiatives including increased on-site supervision have been introduced to ensure our workforce is focussed and proactively takes responsibility for their own safety, and the safety of their workmates. Additional resources have been allocated to our corporate safety team as well as site-based safety professionals. THE ENVIRONMENT Whitehaven is committed to ensuring its projects are carried out in accordance with site specific protocols for environmental management, and to the ongoing development of new ways to minimise our environmental impacts. In terms of the environmental initiatives, we have worked hard to increase our level of engagement with local communities and this has resulted in a number of constructive variations to our mining plans. In addition, we have expanded our environmental management team, who are now working proactively with other companies in the Gunnedah Basin to assess and address the cumulative impacts of our combined developments. COMMUNITY Whitehaven continues to work closely with the communities we operate in. It is extremely important to Whitehaven that our workers live in, and enjoy being part of, the local communities in which we operate. We do not believe camp- based accommodation is an appropriate long-term solution for the Whitehaven workforce, and we do not believe a permanent fly-in fly-out workforce is a good outcome for either our workforce or the community. As such, Whitehaven recently announced it is preparing a plan for supporting property development in Narrabri and Gunnedah. This decision follows consultation with the Narrabri Shire Council, Gunnedah Shire Council and Liverpool Plains Shire Council. Sensible planning is beneficial to both communities and mining companies. By protecting and enhancing the standard of living for existing communities, the mining sector is able to attract highly-skilled workers and their families to this region. Whitehaven is continuing to hold regular discussions with local governments and other interested parties to help ensure that appropriate long-term planning is put in place to address the growing population and associated demand on infrastructure. Whitehaven continues to support a broad range of community organisations and projects, with more than $150,000 donated during the year. The recipients include health and education providers, sporting groups, charities and community wide events. In addition to these community donations, Whitehaven has contributed or committed more than $10 million to regional roadworks and major infrastructure projects including the Narrabri Pool redevelopment. INFRASTRUCTURE Subsequent to balance date, Whitehaven announced that it has entered into long-term arrangements with Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for rail track access between the Company’s mines and Newcastle Port. These arrangements are structured to provide Whitehaven with the rail track capacity that it will require to match long-term production and port capacity. They are based upon the Hunter Valley Rail Access Undertaking approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in June 2011 and operate on a rolling ten-year term. Entry into these arrangements with ARTC represents a significant milestone for Whitehaven, securing the required long-term rail track capacity to support our significant growth plans. managing Director’s report
Annual Report 2010
Annual Report 2012