Our partner Penny Crawford along with Whitehaven Coal’s Narrabri Mine won the award for its gumboot trials with Crawford boots.

See the video link here: https://vimeo.com/351076260/0896f07490

In response to reports of foot, ankle and leg pain from the 300 strong workforce at Whitehaven Coal’s Narrabri underground mine, the mine approached Gunnedah-based podiatrist Penny Crawford to design footwear that could replace the gumboots miners were using.

Alongside a team of industrial designers, specialised manufacturers and traditional rubber boot craftsmen, Crawford developed the WedgeTech Personalised Lock-Fit System.

The system works by locking the foot into a stable position into the boot.

After six months, the mine conducted a trial with miners wearing the specially made boots and found that 24 out of 25 participants would recommend the boots over other boots and their ratings for the boot far exceeded the ratings for non-Crawford boots.

Another trial 12 months later found that 75% of the original participants were still using the same Crawford boot, where other boots would be worn through every four months.

Whitehaven Coal plans to introduce these boots more broadly on site and educate its workplace about proper footwear.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said all the finalists were of a very high calibre.

“The excellence and innovation recognised by these awards are an important part of our industry’s determination to deliver better outcomes for our industry, our workforce, and our local communities,” he said.