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Snowy Hydro Limited

The Snowy Mountains Scheme is undoubtedly one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world.  Built over a 25 year period from 1949 to 1974, it diverts water for irrigation west to the Murray and Murrumbidgee river systems and produces clean, renewable, hydro electricity through a complex integrated infrastructure which includes sixteen major dams, seven power stations, 145km of interconnected tunnels and 80km of aqueducts.

Snowy Hydro Limited (SHL)is a fully integrated Australian energy business with an excellent track record in financial performance, engineering innovation, workplace culture and business practices currently employing over 650 personnel in Cooma, Jindabyne, Talbingo, Khancoban, Cabramurra, La Trobe Valley, Sydney and Melbourne.

Even before the Scheme was completed, it was named as one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world.

Snowy Hydro currently provides over 70% of all renewable energy that is available to the eastern mainland grid of Australia, as well as providing fast response power to light up the morning and evening rush hours of Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

The Scheme is operated and maintained by Snowy Hydro Limited.

Snowy Hydro Limited was incorporated on 27 June 2001.

Formal operations of Snowy Hydro commenced on 28 June 2002 when the company issued shares and received as consideration all assets and liabilities (and the transfer of all employees) of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority (“SMHEA”). This transfer was accomplished under three complementary NSW, Victorian and Commonwealth Acts each known as the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act 1997.

Snowy Hydro Limited’s principal activities are the generation and marketing of flexible and renewable electrical energy, ancillary services and related electricity products, and the storage and diversion of bulk water to the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers.

Snowy Hydro Induction Course


Snowy Hydro Limited identified a need for a SHL specific Induction Course for it's personnel, Contractors and Visitors. The Induction had to cover Legislative Responsibilities, Hazard Identification and Reporting, Accident/Incident Reporting and variety of SHL specific topics. The Inductions had to be delivered in a variety of ways including classroom contact, self learning and be accessible through the SHL Intranet.


Neil Ringshaw engaged with the appropriate Managers and SHL personnel to identify the required content. Once the framework had been agreed, content was sourced from the stake—holders and Neil developed the training materials and web—based modules. Upon completion of the project Neil provided SHL with:

Legislative Responsibilities


When Snowy Hydro Limited was incorporated in 2001 it it had to comply with the New South Wales (NSW) Occupational Health and Safety Legislation consequently the Executive and Senior Management required an interpretation of the legislation to identify their Legislative Responsibilities.


Ringshaw Consulting conducted a series of workshops for SHL at the Cooma and Sydney offices to provide an interpretation of the NSW OHS Legislation to the Executive and Senior Management, specifically addressing their Legislative Responsibilities and the subsequent effects to their individual areas of responsibility.

On Line Incident Investigation Process/Course


Snowy Hydro management required an Incident Investigation process/course that was accessible for appropriate personnel across the scheme. The scope included: design, development and training. The content was to be accessed via a Web site and via interactive flowcharts.

The SHL policies and procedures were to be linked and the safety report archives were to be accessed through the site.


Neil designed and developed a web-based Incident Investigation process in consultation with the appropriate SHL stakeholders.

The content from the Web site was designed to be accessed via a menu system however relevant content was extracted via interactive flowcharts specifically designed to highlight areas where content may be accessed relevant to that particular part of the process.

Presentation material was designed and developed, and subsequently made available online across the SHL intranet.

The requirement for accessing the SHL Policies and Procedures, etc. was also met.

2002 Tunnel Refurbishment


The management of incident prevention and loss control, during the performance of the activities within Snowy Hydro Limited maintenance activities associated with the 2002 Murray Development Hydraulic Asset Maintenance (MDHAM) Program, Specifically the Eucumbene Snowy Tunnel Outage and the Burrungubugge Aqueduct Intake Shaft Refurbishment.

Historically SHL had undertaken all maintenance programs utilising their own personnel, however it was decided that the 2002 MDHAM Program would be managed by SHL Personnel with the main workforce made up of contractor personnel. Specifically the relating to the Tunnel Outage and Painting of Pipelines and Related Structures.


Ringshaw Consulting was engaged on other projects for the SHL at the time and Neil was asked to take on the role of Project OSH Manager for the 2002 MDHAM Program.

In conjunction with the appropriate SHL stakeholders a Safety Management Plan (SMP) was developed. The MDHAM Program was put to tender and part of the process included reviewing the Contractor's SMP against the SHL MDHAM Specific SMP to ensure consistency in application.

The Tunnel Refurbishment was a 24 hour per day (12 hour rosters) operation until completed. The OSH management involved continual liaison with the contractor management and workforce, conducting workplace inspections and audits ensuring their SMPs were being adhered to and providing regular reports back to the SHL Project Manager.

Portions of the MDHAM Program were conducted simultaneously across the Snowy Mountains Scheme and as a consequence auditing was an ongoing process that necessitated travel between sites on a continual basis across the various shifts.

The MDHAM Program was completed on time, on budget with no losses/injuries.

Cloud Seeding — Snowy Precipitation Enhancement Research Project


Snowy Hydro has been undertaking a winter cloud seeding research project, known as the Snowy Precipitation Enhancement Research Project (SPERP), over the Snowy Mountains since 2004. The New South Wales Government approved legislation to enable the SPERP to commence in winter 2004.

The objectives of the project were to determine the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of increasing snow fall over the Snowy Mountains.

The original target area of the project comprised of approximately 1000km² within the Koscuiszko National Park. In 2008, the NSW Government approved an expansion of the program in area (cloud seeding area to around 2250 km²) and duration to 2014. The current target area now covers a major part of the catchment areas of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme.

The project uses ground based generators arranged along the western side of the mountain range to disperse very small quantities of seeding material and an inert tracer into winter storm clouds suitable for seeding as they pass over the mountain range. The seeder and tracer particles are invisible to the human eye — so small that more than 300 million particles would fit on the head of a pin!

Neil Ringshaw was invited to participate in further development of the Cloud Seeding Safety Management Plan including facilitating and participating in the completion of JSAs (Job Safety Analysis) and development of 'WMS' (Work Method Statements) for the main components of the project


Ringshaw Consulting facilitated and participated in the JSA process specifically relating to:

and in liaison with appropriate SPERP personnel developed a number of WMS including:

these processes were incorporated into the Cloud Seeding Safety Management Plan.