World first WELL Health-Safety Rating for Atlas Iron

Hancock Prospecting company Atlas Iron is leading the way in creating safer, healthier, and more satisfying work environments for miners.
Hancock Prospecting company Atlas Iron is leading the way in creating safer, healthier, and more satisfying work environments for miners.

In a world-first for the mining industry, Atlas Iron’s Sanjiv Ridge iron ore mine site has been awarded the WELL Health-Safety Rating.

Atlas is a subsidiary of Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and its Sanjiv Ridge mining operation is located 240km from Port Hedland in the Pilbara, northwest WA.

Hancock Operations chief executive Gerhard Veldsman says WELL Health-Safety Rating reinforces the company’s commitment to prioritising the health, safety and comfort of its staff.

“Championed by our executive chairman Mrs Gina Rinehart AO, and previous Atlas chief executive, now Atlas board member, Sanjiv Manchanda, achieving this certification demonstrates that we are putting the wellbeing of our people first, both on site and within the village facilities,” he said.

The WELL Health-Safety rating is a subset of the WELL Building Standard, pioneered by Delos and administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

“We are proud to be leading the charge on implementing this in a non-urban and remote location,” Mr Veldsman said.

“A world first which we are excited to soon extend across Atlas’ other sites.”

The WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management is made up of six action areas: cleaning and sanitisation procedures; emergency preparedness programs; health service resources; air and water quality management; stakeholder engagement and communication; and, innovation.

Atlas Iron’s Sanjiv Ridge mine site has implemented the following best practices to protect the health and safety of its workforce include:

  • cleaning contractors use products that contain less hazardous ingredients, significantly reducing the risk of respiratory and dermal symptoms;
  • annual training on CPR, first aid and the correct use of the AED defibrillators;
  • access to free flu vaccinations;
  • skin cancer checks; and
  • healthy heart assessments.

All Atlas also staff receive financial reimbursement to offset their private health insurance, giving them greater access to comprehensive medical assistance.

Atlas non-executive chairman Spiro Pappas commented on the certification.

“Achieving the WELL Health Safety Rating means a safer, healthier, and more satisfying work environment for employees, with clear benefits such as reduced health risks, improved wellbeing, and a positive workplace culture,” he said.

“It reinforces our commitment to our employees’ health and safety.

“We are proud of Atlas, and proud of the efforts of our employees.

“Larger corporations tend to treat their projects and even staff, as numbers.

“Here at Atlas, we don’t.”