RUOK? trucks into local mine

28 May 2018

A 26 tonne truck has been transformed into a symbol for mental health awareness at New Hope Group’s New Acland Mine, near Oakey.

The mine service truck is one of the coal mine’s most visible pieces of machinery and now features two giant RUOK? stickers from the RUOK? Day Organisation.

Blasting Site Supervisor Wally Gater said the idea to re-vamp the service truck was championed by the mine’s employee-led Health and Safety Committee.

"The RUOK? message is now effectively ‘A Mobile Billboard’’ at New Acland Mine," Wally said.

"The service truck essentially operates all over the whole site and it reminds our crews to check in on their mates and so far it’s done a terrific job of keeping mental health front of mind."

"We first heard about the idea from our mates on the health and safety committee at New Hope’s Jeebropilly Mine in Ipswich and we knew straight away it was something we’d like to adopt at our mine too."

Senior Health and Safety Systems Coordinator Stewart Sherrington said the RUOK? service truck is the most recent initiative in a wider push for increased awareness about mental health onsite.

"We’ve been working really hard to make mental wellness a priority and this new RUOK? service truck helps make every day RUOK? Day at New Acland Mine," Stewart said.

"Fostering a positive mental wellness culture on site is particularly important given the uncertainty our workforce has been facing over the last couple of years."

"It’s really important to our health and safety committee that our employees feel supported at work and know they have someone to turn to if they need to chat about what’s on their mind."

"Apart from our new addition to the service truck, over the last couple of years we’ve set up a number of initiatives around mental wellness like Movember and a peer-to-peer mentoring program."