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Weipa workers get a wake-up call in trials of hi-tech fatigue device


Rio Tinto’s Weipa bauxite mine will trial innovative technology to detect fatigue in workers.

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Queensland-based Canaria technologies had teamed up with Embley Contracting to roll out the predictive biometric device in a pilot program at the site.

The expectation is that the medical technology would not only save lives but improve productivity by being able to predict medical incidents before they happen. It has been estimated that cognitive fatigue accounts for two-thirds of all industrial accidents and costs as much as $61 billion in work-related injuries.

In the program being run at Weipa, the device will be worn by technicians, process plant operators and coach drivers in extreme heat conditions over a five-day period.

Canaria managing director Theodora Le Souquet said the partnership with Embley was a significant step in revolutionising workplace health and safety.

“Our overarching objective is to improve safety for those on the ground while reducing on-site incident frequency and associated insurance and asset damage costs, as well as optimising incident recovery time for workers affected by heat stress and cognitive fatigue to improve work productivity,” Le Souquet said.

The device has already been trialled at Rio’s joint venture copper mine in Arizona earlier this year where it tracked heat stress and cognitive fatigue scenarios throughout rostered shifts.

Canaria plans to manufacture the device at Elexon Electronics.



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