Category two – Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue
Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) is an aluminium smelter that produces in excess of 570,000 tonnes of aluminium per year.
To clean the pipes used for tapping molten materials, operators were manually using high pressure water jetting (HPWJ) techniques, potentially exposing them to sprains/strains, debris, machine malfunction and noise injuries.
Boyne Smelters changed the way operators accessed the pipes by using an excavator to hold the blasting gun allowing the operator to remain in the enclosed cabin, protected by a screen. This prevents any contact with the HPWJ and pipes involved, completely separating the operator from the energy source.
This reduced the amount of time to complete the cleaning task from six to eight hours, down to three to four hours, resulting in a $72,000 reduction each year in operator costs.
An excavator will hold the blasting gun used for cleaning pipes at Boyne Smelters