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Port Pirie Partnership

Refining lead from raw materials is big business in Port Pirie, but lead dust in the workplace can be a health risk. One of the ways Nyrstar manage the circulating lead dust is with personal respirators for all their staff.

Nyrstar have entrusted Bedford with daily cleaning of this personal protective equipment (PPE). The respirators are dismantled by our team and the parts are run through a high temperature industrial washer, which cleans and disinfects the parts. This process effectively makes them lead-free and COVID-safe before they’re carefully reassembled by hand, with a hand wipe, then packaged, to return the same day to Nyrstar.

Nyrstar have also come up with a novel way to keep the lead dust down at their work sites. They use a spraying machine filled with shredded paper, which, when mixed with liquid, forms into a papier mache’. This thick foamy substance is then sprayed outdoors in dusty areas or used as a mulch, which effectively immobilises the dust and reduces the risk.

This process has made paper shredding a high priority task at Bedford Port Pirie, and the team at Bedford are currently shredding around 120 kilos of paper a day. Rebekah has sourced discarded paper from local newsagencies to keep the supply of shredded paper up to Nyrstar. Rebekah says “our clients really enjoy knowing that the work they’re doing is helping the health and safety of the people that work at Nyrstar. Most of them have a relative or a friend who works there, so it’s important to them.”