The value of technology in the remote workforce

Making sure you meet your legislative requirements and that your workforce is qualified is important – especially when you deploy workers to remote sites.

The Australian mining industry is made up of large numbers of fly in, fly out (FIFO) or drive in, drive out (DIDO) workers due to the geographical location of their sites.

Managing workforce data across several platforms presents the very real risk that something is missed – from lapsed insurance, to missing medicals – which can lead to lost time, money and the risk of fines.

From our origins in the Hunter Valley, Pegasus understands the unique challenges facing the mining industry. We partner with some of the world’s largest mining companies – including BHP, Glencore, Yancoal and Peabody – to qualify and manage safety on their sites.

We know in high-risk working environments like mining, the stakes are high. A mistake can be deadly. Remote mine sites require a different approach, something our clients often enlist our help with.

Understanding the challenges of a remote site

McArthur River Mine in the Northern Territory is one of Glencore’s most remote Australian operations. Located 970 kilometres south-east of Darwin, staffing a mine site so remote presents its own unique challenges, and around half of the fifteen hundred-strong workforce are contractors.

Glencore was using several systems to capture all the information they needed to staff their mine and manage their safety requirements. But having data spread across multiple platforms was both inefficient and risky.

What they needed was a robust contractor management system – one where they could identify contractors, ensure they had the right skills and training, and then deploy them to McArthur River Mine’s remote site.

It’s a similar story for Pegasus clients Peabody, with remote sites across Queensland and New South Wales, and Yancoal, who operates mines across Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. Each hosts an array of workers and contractors who need clearances, inductions, training and certifications to do their jobs safely.

Creating a solution to do that effectively is the challenge.

Make sure your workforce is compliant before they arrive

It is not worth the risk of having workers arrive to your remote mine site to find out their insurances have expired, or they have missed crucial training due to policy changes.

This results in lost money flying them out, lost time trying to rectify the issue, and exposing your workforce to further risk by being down a worker.

You can avoid this by leveraging technology; it’s important to have certainty when it comes to your workforce. You need to know they have the appropriate licences, insurances, safety documents and qualifications to work for you.

Rather than having this information scattered across several static spreadsheets, it’s crucial to collect and store it in one platform.

Yancoal has utilised the Pegasus workforce management software to verify its contracting companies and workers before they are deployed to their mine sites.

“We now have business rules in the system that say, in essence, if certain people don’t have certain qualifications, they can swipe their card as many times as they want at the gateway but they won’t get in,” Yancoal training and development specialist Craig Hagan said.

Site access and automated reminders to keep workers compliant

Worker information stored in an online, accessible platform empowers you to link online profiles to site access.

With only competent workers allowed on site, you can make sure every worker you fly in is compliant before they get on the plane. Not only does it save money, it gives your business confidence no time is being wasted.

“Thanks to Pegasus, Peabody is more effective at making sure the people coming to site have met the training and competency requirements, this gives our senior management a lot more comfort that we are legally compliant,” said Shane Apps, Peabody Australia’s senior manager – Health, Safety and Training.

Whenever a licence, insurance, qualification or induction is reaching expiry, the Pegasus platform sends an automatic reminder to update the document or training.

These notifications also work for changed site requirements, reducing the risk – and time – of a worker being turned away at site.

Integrate with existing systems

Remote mine sites have the additional challenge of managing travel and accommodation for FIFO/DIDO workers. Responding to this need and integrating multiple systems has become a Pegasus specialty.

Our software development team can integrate systems – like enterprise resource planning (ERPs) – using application programming interfaces (APIs).

“The greatest benefit of working with Pegasus has been the high level of innovation and features available in their packages that aren’t available in other products we have investigated,” BHP Mt Arthur Coal’s superintendent site systems Laurentiu Aldea said.

With data talking between the systems, our clients have only the most up-to-date and accurate information to plan and scale.

This integration extends to making the switch from one system to another – Pegasus data and tech teams will ensure it’s a simple transition to the most up-to-date solution.

Maximise time with online learning

You’re days away from sending your worker to site when a procedure change occurs. Before they’re granted access to site, they need to complete training.

This is when you make the most of their time in transit. Workers en route to site can simply log in to the Pegasus Learning Management System to complete their training. Now, on arrival, they’re up to date with new requirements.

“The system is allowing us to perform more efficiently by providing clear reporting on contractor management, training and attendance. We are able to more effectively manage competency, online learning and attendance while our contractors have gained a better understanding of their obligations,” said Talan Breaden, manager of people and safety at Aeris Resources’ Tritton Operations.

Finding the right technology to manage the complexity of your remote workforce will streamline your processes, increase productivity and save time. It ensures your risk is managed.

Talk to the experts at Pegasus today about a complete workforce management solution. Visit pegasus.net.au.

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