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
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.”
ENERGY TO BURN
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