Companies recently deploying state of the art fatigue management tech include Glencore’s Compañía Minera Lomas Bayas copper mine in Chile, which is using Caterpillar’s Smartband. The Cat Smartband, powered by Fatigue Science technology, is an actigraphy watch tha can help users understand the connection between operator sleep, fatigue and accident risk on and off the job site. “Smartband is a proactive device that prevents fatigue events that is optimally complemented by the current DSS fatigue event detection system installed in the CAEX [haulage] fleet and Mine Operations tanker trucks,” said Mining Manager, Felipe Bunout.
Head of Dispatch, Percy Sierralta, said the system will help the operator to notify, in advance, the Head of Shift in case of not being in a condition to operate their shift. “Our Superintendents of Mine Operations, in conjunction with our Dispatch and Technology teams, have developed a pilot program with a group of operators in training from the Mujeres a la Carga program. With this Caterpillar technology, in the form of a wristwatch that is equipped with an accelerometer, plus a telephone application, our operators will know how much they slept and what was the quality of their rest. In this way, they will be able to quantitatively determine whether or not they are in a position to operate,” explained Sierralta.
“I use it as a watch and as a sleep monitor. It is a device that helps us to verify fatigue and drowsiness on the cell phone. In this way, I can keep track and report if I feel fatigued,” says Karen Escobar, Mine Equipment Operator.
This innovative tool, which will also be implemented for the first time in Chile, the mine said will provide peace of mind to all its operators, who will be able to achieve a healthy lifestyle without risks, which requires maintaining control and a permanent history of sleep behaviour and hours. “Smartband is a very friendly technology. It verifies our real sleep during rest and through an application it gives us a fatigue status. As a Training team, we will be actively participating in the implementation of this new technological system, which has been created with the good of all our operators and also ourselves in mind,” indicated Mine Instructor, Marco Huerta.