Importance of Fatigue Monitoring in Mining

fatigue monitoring solution mining

Mining SolutionWritten By: Suman Kumar Paul

As per the latest research, human error is responsible for nearly 90% of mining mishaps. The majority of these accidents, which mostly involve mining equipment, are caused by driver drowsiness and carelessness.

Fatigue has both active and passive implications for mining businesses. The active implications include reduced productivity rate, poor equipment performance, property damage, injuries, fatalities, and other additional expenses. The passive implications might range from accident inspections and absenteeism to a change in morale, increased turnover rate, and sleeping difficulties.

Fatigue-enabled technologies, without a doubt, have the potential to transform the mining industry by monitoring, forecasting, quantifying, and eliminating fatigue incidents. A tested Fatigue monitoring system outlines multiple technologies which help in minimizing fatigue and distraction issues on mining sites.

Importance of Fatigue Monitoring in Mining

In every industrial operation, it's indeed important to monitor the alertness levels of drivers and heavy equipment operators. Fatigued operators harm themselves and others around them. These limit production and cause damage and wear - and - tear to vehicles and other machinery.

Worldwide open-pit mining and transportation businesses have adopted fatigue-monitoring technologies, understanding the advantages of utilizing technology to address the problem of restlessness. There have been a variety of techniques employed to potentially minimize fatigue-related accidents in mining areas, ranging from vibrating chairs to randomized warnings to machines that recognize eye movement employing camera systems or by embedded electroencephalography (EEG) sensing.

Why camera-based fatigue monitoring systems are not the best for miners?

Although camera-based fatigue monitoring technologies were the first to gain widespread market adoption, they are now losing popularity for detecting fatigue and alertness levels for a variety of factors, which include:

•    They are not built on scientific data – monitoring eye-closure with a camera essentially duplicates how a coworker would feel fatigued; it's doesn't serve to minimization of fatigue hazards in the workplace.

•    They are not proactive; once noticeable signals of fatigue develop (eye-closed microsleep), it is too late to effectively stop an accident; once drowsiness occurs, it is always a near miss for camera-based systems.

•    They're intrusive — no one wants to be monitored the whole day, every day while doing their job. Camera technologies are often characterized as a violation of privacy and therefore are disliked among labor groups.

How do a camera-based fatigue system struggle in mining areas?

The role of underground miners is to follow the instructions of their superiors and operational managers. Fatigue monitoring plays an important role in securing life and monitoring the fatigue levels of the workforce. The technological difficulties are considerably more complex as what functions on the ground does not always perform underground.

Camera-based fatigue monitoring technologies do not function in deep mines. For some reasons, the technology is impractical for usage in extreme subterranean conditions, including:

•    High concentrations of dust and moisture – as well as insufficient lighting levels – are not appropriate for the usage of camera systems, making the solutions less practical than other approaches.

•    As underground workers sometimes operate in an uncovered vehicle or one with minimal shielding and room for the camera, the possibility of damaging the camera system is high.

•    As a high-bandwidth communications network is rarely available undergrounds – especially to monitor facial reactions – this limits the effectiveness of the fatigue monitoring system.

Why electroencephalography (EEG) based fatigue monitoring systems are perfect for miners?

SmartCap offers a cutting-edge fatigue monitoring system that uses electroencephalography (EEG), electrophysiological monitoring of electromagnetic signals in the brain, and hence does not require scanning the operator's eyes to identify their level of alertness. The solution concept delivers proactive input to both operators and managers, empowering them to regulate their respective workplace preparedness.

The technology collects the most comprehensive range of fatigue statistics, from company-wide indicators to personalized fatigue profiles. Cloud-based insights add data and decision-making aids to every risk management approach, facilitating mining businesses in eliminating fatigue-related fatalities in their mining areas — both on the surface and underground.

Call us now to learn more about how VTPL can assist your operators and production workers in managing their fatigue patterns and aiding in improved mining protection.

TAGS - driver fatigue monitoring fatigue monitoring solution mining systems

See Also - Don't Fall for the Phishing Bait !