Hanson and Boral were the major winners at this year’s National CCAA Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) Awards.

The CCAA EH&S Awards recognise outstanding examples of industry best practice across the cement, premixed concrete and extractive industries Australia-wide. The award winners were announced at a glittering dinner held in conjunction with the 2012 Construction Materials Industry Conference in Melbourne last week.

Hanson’s sand stockpile dewatering system that saves 35 million litres of water a year and Boral’s cement agitator stability system designed to reduce the likelihood of rollovers were the big winners at this year’s awards.

Hanson won the National Environmental Innovation Award for its development of a new dewatering process at its Golden Grove sand quarry near Adelaide.

The company was previously drying out the washed and processed sand on a concrete slab before selling to customers, a process that took over a week while also losing a significant quantity of water (estimated at 35 million litres a year) to evaporation and ground seepage as the run-off passed along open channels to a central storage dam.

Hanson’s new dewatering system now stores the washed sand on a large sloped pit lined with plastic and filled with aggregate, and connected to the dam via a drainage pipe. As water drains from the stockpile, it travels through the aggregate and into the drainage pipe where it is transferred to the storage dam for reuse in production. Since the system relies on gravity flow rather than electric pumps, its environmental impact is further reduced.

Boral received the National Health and Safety Innovation Award for the development of an innovative agitator stability system. Designed by Boral and Mack Trucks, the system involves modifications made to a standard Metroliner agitator to improve its stability on corners, off-setting the unique nature of a premixed concrete load and the way it shifts during transit within a revolving mixer.

Electronic sensors on the vehicle detect a range of variables including roll, pitch, yaw, suspension pressure and brake application with the system responding instantly if it senses the risk of rollover, by applying individual wheel brakes or reducing engine torque to enhance vehicle stability.

According to Boral, the cost of the new stability control package is minimal compared to the human and economic costs associated with a vehicle rollover.

CCAA Chief Executive, Ken Slattery commented that the winning submissions demonstrated innovative approaches and practical thinking to industry wide problems, setting new standards for the rest of the industry.

The CCAA EH&S Awards are organised by Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia .