Australian mining operation beefs up safety with intelliPERMIT
Newmont Mining Corporation, one of the world’s largest gold producers and the only gold company included in the S&P 500 and Fortune 500, has chosen Adapt IT’s IntelliPERMIT to tighten and streamline safety procedures at Newmont Boddington Gold, Australia’s newest gold mine.
Boddington has an operating life of 20 years and is in the centre of a farming district surrounded by a population of 1 100 people. The mine is part of Newmont’s Asia Pacific operations. Its interests in this region – in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia – are currently the company’s largest asset.
IntelliPERMIT, a computerised permit-to-work system designed and implemented by process manufacturing software specialist Adapt IT, controls the process by which permits within an operating plant are prepared, authorised, issued and managed. Newmont Boddington Gold chose the solution following a tender process in which IntelliPERMIT’s flexibility sealed the deal.
Newmont’s brief was for “a computerised authority to work (ATW) system that improves the safety of maintenance workers by identifying the appropriate isolation procedures and, on completion of work, ensures that equipment is re-energised safely”. Adapt IT delivered its IntelliPERMIT system, which consistently identifies hazards, required isolations, and personal protective equipment needs. It also ensures that all employees on the job are aware of the hazards present and the measures required to mitigate risk.
Adapt IT adds that IntelliPERMIT has fulfilled Newmont Boddington’s original needs and more. It includes all safety and legal requirements from initial application, through preparation and isolation, job execution and final closure. It ensures that people involved in any job are competent and authorised, and that completed ATWs are returned to the issuers. Clear business rules indicate when a job must be accompanied by approved isolation procedures and the isolations witnessed by a third party. It also creates weather-proof isolation tags efficiently with dedicated printers. Beyond that, IntelliPERMIT is user-friendly, flexible and reliable.
IntelliPERMIT has replaced the processing plant’s paper permit system which was problematic for several reasons: permits contained incomplete information; it was not possible to easily see which permits were in force at any time; there were inconsistencies between the permit and the required procedures; and there was limited control over the authority limits of people signing permits.
The paper system presented challenges common in the mining industry, says Scott Bredin, Executive at Adapt IT. “Although there were certificates for specific types of work, such as confined space, or work at heights, the process of collating and preparing these documents was time-consuming and inefficient. IntelliPERMIT automatically assembles the required permits for each job.”
Boddington also had a large number of isolation procedures stored on their network, and this meant that permit issuers had to manually search for the appropriate procedures for a task. On top of that, the system did not include an independent audit trail and writing out isolation tags by hand was a slow process.
“IntelliPERMIT has improved the efficiency of plant maintenance by rapidly collating all required documentation for specific types of work, and providing large-format screens at permit issue points where current ATWs are displayed,” says Bredin.
IntelliPERMIT went live at the Dry Plant in April 2011, after exceeding the site’s expectations, and will be progressively rolled out to the other process areas.
Executive, Adapt IT Manufacturing
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