Exploration, production, transport, refining… the mining industry does not sleep. Mining is a 24/7 job. But while mining operations are continuous, employees cannot operate this way. They need sleep.
Depending on the specific job duties or operational setup, mining work presents heavy labor-intensive tasks mixed with monotonous and repetitive duties. Combined with long hours and shift work, fatigue is a threat to productivity, and more importantly — safety. Extended working hours, insufficient sleep, medical conditions, environmental factors, extreme temperatures, loud noise, time spent underground… No matter the layered factors, fatigue impairs performance, and in safety-critical industries such as mining, contributes to catastrophic incidents if not managed properly.
Fatigue is an elusive beast that has a range of impacts on operations even when there are no physically obvious signs showing. Mental fatigue is difficult to measure scientifically, and there aren’t always easily attainable diagnostics that can give an accurate indication of mental tiredness. The team at Ramjack has spent years seeking out the most innovative fatigue-related solutions available, and while most people are aware of the dangers, they’re not sure how to prevent them.
Here are the main risks fatigue presents to mining operations:
- Risk to Personnel
- Fatality. Fatigue-related incidents include fatalities, where operators and other road users have lost their lives.
- Injuries. Fatigue-related incidents lead to injuries, sometimes life-threatening or with permanent disabilities.
- Risk to Equipment
- Excessive wear and tear on vehicles. Increased fuel usage and increased tire wear both occur with heightened operator fatigue.
- Equipment Damage. Fatigue-related collision incidents cause equipment damage resulting in thousands to millions of dollars in equipment damage and downtime.
- Risk to Productivity
- Loss of Operating Time. Loss in operating times can span days and even months due to regulatory requirements or equipment unavailability
- Decreased Productivity. Fatigued operators have been proven to maintain lower levels of productivity on the job
- Absenteeism. When Operators are involved in fatigue-related incidents, they may be absent due to injuries, suspensions, or to allow for investigations etc.
In mining, fatigue management is critical for safe operations. The team at Ramjack Technology Solutions and our partners are committed to safety, ensuring that everyone gets home to their families each day. We believe that every person is responsible for helping manage fatigue, and we advocate for empowering your staff with technologies that will set them up for success. We’re here to help your team continue to make safety the top priority.