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  • #7 in Mining, oil & gas
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Iain Riek

4.45 AM

Get up alarm goes off.

4.55 AM

You went back to sleep, didn’t you? alarm goes off.

5.15 AM

Breakfast in the Mess. Usually, bacon and eggs or toast and cereal. Read a few news or current affairs articles over a cup of coffee tea -  you gave up coffee, remember?

5.45 AM

Jump on the second bus, there are always more seats on the second one. Don’t forget to scan your access card!

6.10 AM

Fire up the laptop, check emails and sitewide notices, and in summer open the Weatherzone app to see when today's storm is expected. Check South32 commodity prices, a habit I started early on in my grad program that has become a bit of a ritual.

7.25 AM

Coffee Tea no.2 - nearly forgot you have given that stuff up, didn’t you?

7.30 AM

Capital Projects team pre-start meeting. Daily catchup of the team to discuss any safety issues from the previous day or flag any for the day to come. This meeting allows everyone to get a short rundown on where all our major projects are, if and when there are opportunities to join the supervisors visiting the work locations and for all the project managers (PM) and project engineers to list daily priorities or flag any risks.

7.45 AM

Daily briefing with my PM to check the status of the mobile fleet project today.

8.30 AM

Usually, around now there will be some sort of stakeholder meeting or discussion regarding at least one of the many projects I am working on. Formulate actions relating to this meeting.

10.00 AM

Coffee Tea no.3

10.30 AM - 1.00 PM

Focus time. There’s always a plan, scope, risk review, change management, business case or some other paperwork that needs to be done. This is the time to knuckle in and get some work done!

Coffee Tea no.4 - no, decaf is still coffee!

1.00 PM- 1.30 PM

Lunchtime – today I had a ham, cheese and salad wrap, some days there will be pre-made meals from the Mess, some days I’ll be bad and grab a sausage roll. Plenty of options!

1.30 PM

Safety Act Observation. Each week we get out and talk to the employees in the field. We get out of the office, interact with other teams and discuss tasks they are doing and how they focus on doing it safely. Today I visited the mobile workshop to talk with the heavy vehicle fitters. They were conducting a 500-hour service and replacing the GET blocks on a D11 Dozer. It is a routine task, but each block weighs 180kg or more. They did a great job, had all the paperwork and isolations in order, were using the right lifting devices and even had a system to catch bolts in a wheelbarrow set up.

2.30 PM

Surely, I can have that coffee now? No? ok water it is!

Today I had to make calls to several suppliers to discuss a new piece of machinery we are looking to bring to the site. It would fundamentally change some of our processes, so I have to make sure that we find the right machine, with the right capabilities and ensure it meets stakeholder needs. On this project, I interact with the rehabilitation team, mine planning, the dozer crew and the mobile maintenance team, so it can be a challenge to meet the needs of every team. Good thing I enjoy problem-solving!

4.28 PM

Look out the window, think ‘the bus back to camp is early today?’ NOPE. It’s on time!

4.30 PM

Get on the bus, check every pocket for my access card, realise it’s already in my hand, find a seat and catch my breath

5.00 PM

Get back to camp, get changed and decide it’s not too hot, go for a walk down to the beach to watch the sunset. Being from the east coast, it’s a novelty to see the sunset over the water. Don’t get too close though, there are crocodiles here and they can be sneaky, I’m not in the mood to be someone’s dinner today.

6.00 PM

Dinner time. Don’t forget your mask in the Mess. Covid-19 has hit a lot of people hard, but everyone here has done a great job and we are lucky to still be able to have a fully functioning Mess as long as we keep using masks and social distancing. Tonight, we have a choice of lamb casserole, roast beef or Cajun chicken. Sometimes we do get spoilt. Grab some food for the crib tomorrow, and don’t make eye contact with the soft-serve machine!

6.45 PM

The best part of the day! Video call home and talk to my partner and baby daughter. Technology does make modern life better!

7.30 PM

I could go to the gym or join some of the other grads at the basketball court, touch the footy field or even the pool. But today I am tired, so I shower, make a cup of tea (yeah, not even thinking of coffee anymore) and watch something on my tablet.

9.00 PM

Set my alarm and lights out. It’s been a long day, and tomorrow not going to be any shorter, but the day after is fly out day!