February 24, 2020

What Do Electricians Do In The Mines?

Author:  Nick Celenza

Mention Western Australia to someone who lives outside the state and as well as conjuring up images of glorious beaches, they’ll also know that WA is one of the leading players in the mining and petroleum industry.

Figures from the Government of Western Australia show that WA is a world leader in the production of minerals and petroleum commodities. Between 2017 and 2018, the mining industry accounted for 30% of WA’s gross state product.

Of course, the mining industry drives the need for tradies, especially those from engineering, construction and electrician backgrounds. Qualified electricians are attracted to the mines not only because of the potential to earn a high salary, but also because the role offers variety and can be very rewarding. Most electricians working on site are involved in FIFO roles – Fly In, Fly Out.

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Electrician roles in the mines

Electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining electrical systems on mines. All mines need power, or they couldn’t operate. An electrician’s primary role is to ensure that there’s a continuous electrical supply to generators and plants as well as accommodation sites.

An electrician will inspect, isolate, troubleshoot and repair all electrical components so that power is available at all times without hitches.

Working both above ground and below, working conditions can be tough. Electricians are exposed to blistering heat with temperatures regularly topping 45 degrees in the north-west. Those working in the mining sector must be good at working at height and that goes beyond working off ladders! Likewise, electricians must feel comfortable working in small, confined spaces.

What Do Electricians Do In The Mines?

Day-to-day duties

There’s nothing like variety and electricians working on the mines will never be bored because of the range of duties on offer. From the commissioning of a mine to its wind down and decommissioning, there are various tasks to keep an electrician busy day-to-day.

These include:

  • Helping with start-up activities so that the mine site will be fully operational
  • Checking that all necessary permits and hazard assessments have been properly prepared and completed prior to any commencement of work
  • Maintenance and repair of electrical equipment and ongoing repair, including troubleshooting any faults
  • Install correct wiring and circuits and connect systems to various power supplies
  • Oversee lighting requirements
  • Plan the layout of any new systems
  • Read wiring diagrams and technical instructions
  • Create and write technical reports
  • Ensure emergency electrical systems including fire alarms are fully functional and work effectively
What Do Electricians Do In The Mines?

Stamina for mine sites

Working on a mine site can be hard graft and the on-site shifts arduous. Electricians clock up long hours, both overnight and during the day, as the mine will be operational 24/7. Working as part of a close-knit team, they need to get on well with others and can expect to be away from their family for long periods of time because of the remote locations.

At some time or other you’ll need to call on the service of an electrician, so why not choose a company which is well-respected with outstanding reviews? Many of our team have experienced life as a FIFO electrician on the mines and have extensive experience. PWA Services covers the Perth metropolitan area and as one of the fastest growing electrical companies in the city so you can be guaranteed of exceptional service. Most of our business comes through word of mouth and referrals alone, so give us a call today.