I have been working at the Olympic Dam mine for the past year and I have to say, it has been an amazing experience so far! Olympic Dam is located in South Australia and I live in a town about 20km away from the site. Our site is quite unique because we go through the entire process from mining the ore to selling the final products all at the same site – how cool is that!? We produce copper, uranium and even silver and gold!
Here goes the first alarm of the day. Snooze…twice. 7:20 am. Uh oh! I have to shower, get ready and get to site in 40 minutes for the daily morning meeting! I am currently halfway through my second graduate rotation in Surface Maintenance Analysis and Improvement (A&I) team.
Just in time for the morning meeting. We all gather around the common area and discuss any safety improvements or issues we encountered within the past 24 hours. As the Maintenance A&I team, we are responsible for maintaining the equipment here on the surface side and it is awesome to see how everything comes together to create our final products.
Time to check my emails and plan the rest of my day. I prioritise the essential tasks of the day as I grab a large cup of warm lemon water – a healthy alternative to coffee!
I have been given an important investigation for the smelter area and have been working with our vendors for quotes to replace some equipment. As this equipment is critical to the plant, I need to ensure that I consistently follow up with our vendors and get it done as soon as possible. Time to make some calls.
I heard there is a shutdown happening in the Smelter area. This means our Maintenance crew will be performing preventative maintenance on the equipment in that area – a perfect opportunity to go for a site visit for some field leadership. Field leadership is part of our KPIs and involves everything from safety conversations to actually assessing the safety controls in place for a task. So let’s get out there!
Going to the field in summer is not only a great way to work out and sight see but it also is quite rewarding in terms of building stronger relationships with our crew. I had some great conversations with one of our crew members about the importance of proper work instructions, safety equipment and proper housekeeping while they were isolating an electrical equipment.
It’s finally lunch time! This means sitting down with my friends and enjoying a simulating conversation about the upcoming Avengers movie as we eat our lunches.
Now that I have some quotes for the replacement equipment, I need to organise a meeting with the relevant Superintendents. Due to their busy schedules, it is quite challenging to get them all together in the same spot at the same time – fingers crossed I can find an opening. I’ll also need to prepare a short presentation and agenda for this meeting to ensure I get all the information I need for the next step.
It’s time to work on my investigation! Honestly, for me, this is the best part of being an engineer – investigating when things go wrong. I just love hunting for clues as to why something tripped or failed because it makes me feel like a real investigator. I already have a few theories about my investigation so I need to now find some evidence to prove or disprove them. So now I will be going through some maintenance reports, manuals and talking to people who were at the scene – kind of like Sherlock Holmes.
It’s been a very productive day and I have achieved a lot more than I planned. Time to put on some tunes as I drive back home.
Finally I’m home. Just going to have a quick shower before heading to grab dinner.
Living on site at the Roxby Village means free food and accommodation. Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my mom’s cooking but hey free food is free food. Wow, Thai Red Curry, my favourite!
After a good meal and a full day of work, time to kick off the sneakers and relax with a good book. I’m currently half-way through a suspense novel and the plot is getting really interesting.
It’s gym time! And, the gym is just 20 meters away so that’s one less excuse not to go.
As usual, it’s time to watch some TV and talk back home to my family. I will be checking my social media and chatting with my friends for the next couple of hours.
Whoops! Better go to sleep or I will be tired at work.