WHS MONITOR™ lightens drilling company’s safety load

Without a centralised system, HMR drilling was finding it difficult to keep on top of its WHS compliance requirements. In need of a new approach, the company found the solution in WHS MONITOR™.


Founded in 2008, Kalgoorlie-based HMR Drilling Services is a precision exploration, diamond and Geotech drilling operation. With a management team that, combined, boasts more than 65 years of mining industry experience, the company delivers timely, cost effective and small footprint drilling services.

“We have a couple of surface diamond drill rigs, but right now we’re heavily focused on underground diamond drilling projects. These types of projects account for about 90 per cent of our work,” said Kevin Petersen, HMR Drilling Services’ Business Development and Innovation Manager.

“While we operate all over Australia, at present most of our work takes place in Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.” 

HMR has around 170 employees and Kevin explained that number includes just 10 office staff.

“The bulk of our employees work out in the field as drillers, drill assistants, supervisors, drill fitters and light vehicle fitters,” he said.

“For us, one of the main requirements was the ability to handle employee induction and training. WHS MONITOR™ covered that really well.”

Kevin Petersen, HMR Drilling Services’ Business Development and Innovation Manager

Perhaps more so than any other industry, across the mining sector there is a deep understanding of the importance of workplace health and safety compliance. When asked what particular Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) challenges drilling companies face, Kevin pointed to risks associated with the use of rotating equipment, mobile plant, stored energy and manual handling tasks.

“In addition to the risk that these hazards pose, our employees also operate in hot and humid underground environments, which in itself poses a risk of heat related illness,” he said.

“There have been advances within the industry regarding autonomous and semi-autonomous rod handling, but these advances only address certain aspects of manual handling associated with diamond drilling. We are therefore still heavily reliant on our systems and processes to ensure the safety of our people.”

Addressing these issues is one of HMR Drilling Services’ top priorities. “We are committed to ensuring that each and every one of our employees makes it home safely each shift. Subsequently, we’re committed to ensuring we meet all WHS compliance obligations,” Kevin said.

HMR Drill Operator

How HMR use WHS Monitor​

To do this, HMR Drilling Services uses WHS MONITOR™, a modular, cloud-based WHS compliance management software system, designed to ensure that organisations are able to meet their compliance obligations.

“Before WHS Monitor our compliance management was all paper-based. While everyone was doing their best to track and record everything, nothing was centralised,” said Kevin.

The company clearly needed a change.

“The first step was establishing all our systems and processes and implementing the appropriate training. Once that was up to speed, the next phase was to find the right centralised system to manage it all. We wanted a user-friendly solution that satisfied all our requirements and that we could use out in the field,” said Kevin.

“For us, one of the main requirements was the ability to handle employee induction and training. WHS MONITOR™ covered that really well. Another attractive factor was the configurability of the system. The ability to setup all of HMR’s processes into the system was a big drawcard. That combination of configurability, functionality and value was what sold us.”

The Modules

WHS MONITOR™ comprises 120 unique, integrated modules across eight core units: Risk Management, Incident Management, Asset Management, Contractor Management, Policies and Procedures, HR Safety Management, Chemical Management, Hazard Registers.

Fully customisable, it is suitable for all businesses regardless of size or the industries in which they operate. In other words, businesses can pick and choose the modules and functionality that suit them. And, as time goes on and they grow or change, they can add (or drop) modules.

Apart from the Induction and Training functionality, HMR Drilling Services also uses the Risk, Asset Management, Policies and Procedures, HR Safety Management, Chemical Management and Reporting modules.

According to Kevin, HMR Drilling purchased the system to be used by their entire workforce. Initially they focussed on PC access before moving to use of the system by all staff on mobile devices.

Pointing to the Induction and Training modules as examples, he said he is delighted with the change WHS MONITOR™ has brought to the company. All employees are now in a position to complete all their procedure reviews electronically and do written assessments either on or offline.

In addition, supervisors and trainers can complete practical assessments electronically, whilst offline (and underground). Removing seven to eight steps from the company’s old training process, this improves efficiency and compliance.

“All our guys are managing their own training records. On top of that, the feedback we’ve received from them has all been positive. Not only do they see it as a step in the right direction, but they have all found it easy to use. It’s a win for everybody,” Kevin said.

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