PRODUCTION TEAM SUPERVISOR IN MINING:
MY CAR IS MY OFFICE
Tim scored his job (ten being the most enjoyable job you can imagine).
by Daniela Andrei
Tim is a production supervisor working for a mining construction company operating in South Australia. He runs a team of 14 – 15 people whose responsibility is to get the blasted dirt from the shop crew, load it into trucks and transport it to destinations on the mine site, as required by clients. In his role, Tim is in charge of organizing the pre-shift information sessions and handovers, as well as allocating operators to machines, running audits and safety inspections on all the working areas, and fatigue observations. He also attends daily planning meetings, fills in paperwork and acts as a “one-stop shop” for any issues that the people he supervises might experience.
"Anything associated with my people comes to me! Even if they want to go and see my supervisor, they’ll come to me and then I have to arrange the meeting! If I can’t deal with it, then I’ll take it further!
At the beginning of the week we have a plan and that can change, so that is the frustrating bit! Because I’ve started on this plan, I’ve set up here, but then I have to go and set up somewhere else!"
The Challenges of a Demanding Job
The interview with Tim focused mostly on challenges experienced in this very complex demanding job. Particularly challenging for Tim are the frequent changes in the operating plan, sometimes without any prior notice, that reduces overall role clarity and the ability to plan work in advance for his team. Furthermore, the fact that he operates as a “one-stop shop” for his employees leads sometimes to qualitative role overload, as he is expected to deal with all things related to his workers, as varied as HR issues, payroll, disputes, uniforms, and leave requests. Last but not least being physically away from family can negatively impact the work-life balance, but Tim reports that the extended off work time compensates for that together with the financial retribution for these kinds of roles.