When safety is non-ne­go­tiable, the sys­tems must be ro­bust, as Rivet En­ergy boss Mark An­der­son ex­plains

When safety is non- ne­go­tiable, the sys­tems must be ro­bust, as Rivet En­ergy boss Mark An­der­son ex­plains

Australian Transport News - - Contents - WORDS RICKY FRENCH

I t’s Mon­day morn­ing at Rivet En­ergy’s Mel­bourne de­pot and na­tional health and safety co­or­di­na­tor Ian But­t­er­ick is re­view­ing footage of an in­ci­dent.

A Rivet truck has been in­volved in a crash. It has rear-ended a ute on a busy Syd­ney street. In years gone by, this may have been seen as a clear case of the truck driver at fault. Not to­day, though.

DriveCam in the truck has cap­tured what re­ally hap­pened. The ute sud­denly crossed lanes in front of the truck, then slammed on its brakes. There was noth­ing the Rivet driver could do.

As soon as the crash oc­curs, the driver ac­ti­vates DriveCam to record the in­ci­dent. It’s pro­grammed to record the pre­vi­ous eight sec­onds and the fol­low­ing four, and has done its job per­fectly.

The truck driver is vin­di­cated. Where, in the past, driv­ers may have been hes­i­tant to em­brace cam­eras mon­i­tor­ing their cabs, to­day, Rivet driv­ers are learn­ing that a cam­era in the cab might just save their ba­con.

DriveCam is just one of the tools in­tro­duced by Rivet to en­sure their safety stan­dards won’t be com­pro­mised, and there will be no re­peat of the hor­ror crash in­volv­ing a Cootes tanker at Mona Vale back in 2014. Cootes was a sub­sidiary of McAleese, which went into ad­min­is­tra­tion two years later on the back of key con­tract losses,

ris­ing debt and fall­ing rev­enue, much of it driven by the down­turn in the min­ing sec­tor.

From that low point, the tran­si­tion into Rivet has been noth­ing short of mirac­u­lous.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mark Row­sthorn and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Philip Tonks steered the new com­pany through the ma­jor restruc­ture, drop­ping un­der­per­form­ing di­vi­sions such as heavy haulage and di­vid­ing the busi­ness into three core units: avi­a­tion re­fu­elling, min­ing ser­vices and gas and fuel trans­port.

Rivet En­ergy gen­eral man­ager Mark An­der­son has been with the busi­ness through the ups and downs for more than 30 years.

“This place is like fam­ily. The sta­bil­ity of our peo­ple and the lifestyle we’ve been able to give to our em­ploy­ees is what I’m most proud of,” An­der­son says.

He says you never for­get the crit­i­cal ac­ci­dents, never for­get the fa­tal­i­ties, and you never stop work­ing to make the work­place as safe as hu­manly pos­si­ble.

“We don’t talk about it much, but af­ter Mona Vale we re­ally saw peo­ple in this or­gan­i­sa­tion roll their sleeves up and vow to stay on board for the long term,” he says.

“Me­chan­ics, fit­ters, sched­ulers, man­agers, ev­ery­one. We have fam­i­lies who have had gen­er­a­tions come up through this busi­ness. “It doesn’t mat­ter who owns it or what the name is, we will still be here serv­ing our cus­tomers.”


Rivet En­ergy is pri­mar­ily an LPG busi­ness. Its two big­gest cus­tomers, El­gas and Ori­gin, rely on it to pro­vide a full sup­ply chain so­lu­tion.

“They’re very much hands-off once they se­cure the cus­tomer, which might be an abat­toir, chicken farm or a cot­ton gin,” An­der­son ex­plains.

Rivet En­ergy takes over from there, man­ag­ing the whole process from sup­ply point to de­liv­ery.

It’s a vi­tal ser­vice, and a mis­step could have dis­as­trous con­se­quences. Poul­try sheds, for ex­am­ple, are heated us­ing LPG to keep the young chick­ens warm. If the gas runs out, you could end up with 120,000 dead chick­ens.

“Just this morn­ing the boys at the farm were say­ing it’s cold and they’ll need more trucks sent up,” An­der­son says. “So that needs to be man­aged, tak­ing into ac­count driv­ers’ avail­abil­ity, truck and tank avail­abil­ity, prod­uct avail­abil­ity.

“We’ll need to resched­ule loads and pri­ori­tise, make changes. So flex­i­bil­ity is re­ally crit­i­cal.”

Rivet En­ergy has a data­base of 3,500 cus­tomers, and has de­pots in Western Aus­tralia, South Aus­tralia, Queens­land, New South Wales and Victoria. Win­ter is the peak pe­riod. The tem­per­a­ture might be cold but the sched­ul­ing is

“The sta­bil­ity of our peo­ple and the lifestyle we’ve been able to give to our em­ploy­ees is what I’m most proud of.”

Above: Rivet En­ergy driver Garry An­der­son with his Volvo FMOp­po­site: Rivet En­ergy gen­eral man­ager Mark An­der­son points out the lo­ca­tion of a truck’s tablet, out of driver’s view while driv­ing

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