AUSTRALIAN CONTRACT MINING
Australian Contract Mining is an underground mining contractor owned by Westgold Resources, working across 5 sites.
In response to industry concerns, Australian Contract Mining (ACM) joined with other industry partners to commission a study into supervisor’s leadership skills. The study found that only 35% of the supervisors had received any training in the transition from their previous working roles. A significant gap in the Supervisors leadership abilities emerged in that 60% of those interviewed were only some way in their supervisory capacity. Supervisors identified a lack of specialized training in supervision specifically for mining and complained that the training available in Western Australia was difficult to find and often too generic.
In response, ACM partnered with Edge Learning Services to undertake the development of a five-day leadership training program. Course content centres on the application of traditional leadership principles in a fly in, fly out underground mining environment. The program runs as a five-shift roster with fly in and out days, breakfast scenarios and pre-shift meetings where supervisors schedule a virtual crew. An iPad is provided to all participants which contains an electronic workbook, a scheduling app and an e-learning assessment. During development of the program, managers and foremen were consulted and asked to provide areas where they saw the most need for the development of their Underground Supervisors. They were also encouraged to share any experiences of their own that could be included in the program, ensuring that the course scenarios were a realistic reflection of issues in the mining environment. A pilot program was conducted for managers and foremen where they reviewed all course content and identified areas for improvement. The pilot also familiarized them with the program to enable them to provide support to their supervisors as they completed the course.
Consultation with managers has identified that participants are using the principles taught in the course in the workplace. One of the main themes of the course is “The standard that you walk past is the standard that you set”. By addressing this, supervisors are more willing and confident to address issues in the workplace which include safety, bullying and substandard work practices. Participants are also more familiar and comfortable with safety management plans and more confident in addressing safety concerns and issues in the workplace as part of their job. Feedback from participants has been excellent with the course evaluation sheets recording a 96% satisfaction rating.