Australian miners pass 500,000 hours of monitoring operator fatigue with SmartCap.
SmartCap has reached a significant milestone with more than 500,000 hours of operator hours captured by a major coal mining company in Australia. SmartCap has been deployed by a number of mining companies to monitor fatigue among operators in order to minimise safety incidents related to fatigue. SmartCap is a unique technology that measures brainwaves utilising electroencephalograph or EEG technology. By detecting the very low voltages that are generated on the skin due to brain activity SmartCap is able to analyse the EEG data and determine a corresponding level of alertness.
After initial trials the technology has been rolled out across US, Australian, South African and South American operations. Since the initial deployment more than 500,000 operator hours have been captured at Australian sites to monitor the alertness of operators of heavy machinery. Paul Butler, SmartCap’s Chief Executive Officer – Exceeding half a million hours of usage is a fantastic achievement but seeing the way that SmartCap is being integrated into different businesses is even more satisfying.
SmartCap measures something very specific – an individual’s ability to resist sleep. A microsleep occurs when we fail to resist sleep. For people operating equipment, resisting sleep is a natural, sometimes subconscious behaviour. It is when our ability to resist sleep diminishes that we become at risk of a microsleep. This is why ability to resist sleep is the most relevant safety measure for equipment operators. To see SmartCap adopted by one of the world’s largest mining organisations is a testament to the uniqueness of the product. The bottom line is SmartCap saves lives says Dan Bongers the Chief Technology Officer at SmartCap.
The technology behind the SmartCap was developed within CRCMining, a Cooperative Research Centre established by the Australian government, supported by four universities and 13 industry partners including equipment manufacturers and mining companies. The accuracy of the SmartCap fatigue measurements have been independently validated by Monash University and the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. The SmartCap has also been tested and certified to provide reassurance that it is safe to wear and meets international standards.
SmartCap can be used by one operator in one vehicle such as a bus or truck to a full fleet with real time monitoring in a central location. This makes the solution incredibly versatile and can be adapted to form part of a comprehensive fatigue management policy. Safety should be the fundamental element of all haulage and transport operations and SmartCap is another tool that is used to manage the fatigue element of the safety puzzle. According to Anthony Fraser, SmartCap’s Business Development Manager, the product is gaining more and more momentum all over the world and in more and more industries. Users now have the quantitative data needed to effectively manage fatigue rather than the assumptions that many policies are based on. SmartCap provides the ability to measure and therefore improve.