Worksite visits have been a popular feature of ANZSOM Annual Scientific Meetings for many years, providing delegates with first hand experience of workplace hazards and health risks, and an opportunity to work through practical solutions. In 2020, our worksite visits were held virtually for the first time.
South 32 Worsley Alumina Refinery (Western Australia)
Worsley Alumina comprises a bauxite mine located near the town of Boddington and an alumina refinery located near Worsley. Ore is mined then transported 50km to the refinery via an overland conveyor system. Alumina is then transported 55km to the port of Bunbury for shipping.
This site visit will be focused on the alumina refinery process, with brief discussion of bauxite mining and port and rail facilities and operation.
The alumina refinery process operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is complex and involves taking bauxite in it’s raw form, crushing and using the Bayer process to form white powder alumina.
Delegates will participate in a virtual site visit of photographic and video content with explanation of the process and the refinery. Using a risk assessment framework, delegates will be asked to document their findings to contribute to discussions in the latter part of the session.
Pre-reading and assessment template
Trainees are advised to undertake pre-reading to familiarise themselves with the workplaces and the work processes that are subject of the worksite visits.
The Nyrstar Hobart smelter is one of the world’s largest zinc smelters in terms of production volume. The facility uses the RLE process for zinc production. Hobart’s key products are SHG zinc, die cast alloys (branded ‘EZDA’) and CGG (continuous galvanising grade) alloys. In addition, the site produces by-products of cadmium, copper sulphate, paragoethite, lead sulphate, leach concentrate and sulphuric acid.
The site has been significantly upgraded and modernised, with improvements in the gas purification and acid plants in the roasting facility and in the leaching and purification processes; the introduction of mechanised zinc stripping in electrolysis and the automation of the casting plant
This site visit is to the Electrolytic Cell room at the plant. Delegates will be given a background brief in advance and asked to perform some general research. They will be given a specific task to perform for the General Manager of the plant.
The worksite visit itself will be via video clips of specific work that is performed by the operators. There will be the opportunity to ask questions and delegates will develop their answers to the task set. This will attempt to simulate a real worksite investigation and associated challenges. Finally the delegates will prepare and submit their plan and will engage in discussion about their recommendations.