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Reaping rewards from good housekeeping

The Copper Smelter and Concentrator teams at Mount Isa Mines are reaping the rewards from implementing a housekeeping initiative designed to maintain the plant, identify and engineer improvements, and take pride in their workplace.

On a regular schedule, all personnel stop their jobs to participate in housekeeping tasks around the plant to ensure the site is maintained in a clean, tidy state reflecting the 5S principles – sort, set in order, shine, standardise and sustain.

Glencore’s Mount Isa Mines Copper Smelter Manager, Mark Peterson, says the Smelter team are seeing the benefits from carrying out department-wide housekeeping.

“In the Copper Smelter, our housekeeping strategy focuses on everyone having the ability to effect change,” says Mark.

Mark Peterson, Copper Smelter Manager, conducts a pre-start meeting to discuss priorities at the Copper Smelter’s scheduled housekeeping session.

“This is reflected in our housekeeping sessions, where everyone from the first-year Apprentice through to the Superintendent team and myself spend time in the plant maintaining and raising our standard.”

“The aim is to create a work environment we can be proud of and one in which we would be happy to take our friends and family through.”

“We want the workplace to be the best it can be, and there are plenty of people in this team willing to continue pushing us towards that goal,” Mark says.

The Copper Smelter and Concentrator’s housekeeping strategy focuses on everyone having the ability to effect change.
The Copper Smelter personnel maintain the plant on a consistent basis and during allocated housekeeping timeslots.

Other aspects of the Copper Smelter housekeeping efforts include targeted strategies for problem areas, engineering improvements to reduce potential issues, good communication and the centralisation of identified opportunities.

Improvements have also been made by investing in common areas and celebrating the team’s success at SafeStart sessions.

Housekeeping is a fundamental practice for all teams and needs to be built into all job plans. To be effective, it needs to be maintained on a consistent basis and in a proactive manner, rather than being reactive.

All departments can play their part to improve housekeeping and create safer work environments.

Improvements are identified during the scheduled housekeeping sessions.
Copper Smelter staff carrying out department-wide housekeeping.

Glencore’s Mount Isa Mines Safety Advisor - Strategy, Sarah Morgan, says untidy and uncontrolled workplaces expose our teams to unnecessary risks.

“Our business manages risks, with guidelines for identifying hazards in the Acts and Regulations in all jurisdictions,” Sarah says.

“Safe work environments lead to healthier workers, higher worker morale and increased productivity.”

“We want our people to create and maintain a workplace that they can be proud of, and taking pride in our workplace begins with good housekeeping,” says Sarah.

In the Copper Smelter, our housekeeping strategy focuses on everyone having the ability to effect change. Everyone from the first-year Apprentice through to the Superintendent team and myself spend time in the plant maintaining and raising our standard.

Mark Peterson, Copper Smelter Manager