The Dangerous Combination of Fatigue and Mining Equipment

459885359Fatigue causes mental and physical changes in the body, which include reduced awareness, and lowered cognitive function similar to the effects caused by alcohol. Thus, fatigue is a major contributing factor in many mining industry accidents. Fatigue monitoring systems play an important part in maintaining workplace safety by alerting operators and workers immediately when drowsiness affects performance and safety.

Accident Risk

The combination of fatigue and mining equipment leads to a significant increase in safety risks while on the job. Recent studies have found that the relative risk of an accident effectively doubles between the eighth and ninth hour of consecutive work, with a steady increase in accident risks continuing for every subsequent hour of work. Furthermore, workplace accidents become 17% more likely after the fourth consecutive day shift. This drastic increase in risk is due to the cumulative effects of fatigue on the body and mind, which include reduced awareness, slower reaction times, and impairments in anticipation and problem-solving skills.

Reduced Productivity and Cooperation

Poor cooperation and lack of communication are also contributing factors in many mining industry accidents. Emotional changes such as lack of motivation, higher perceived levels of stress, and irritability can raise the frequency of problems between employees, which affects morale and the quality of working conditions. In addition to increasing accident risk, fatigue also has a noticeable impact on productivity. Workers who are fatigued will work more slowly, causing frustration and difficulty cooperating as a unit, which are essential qualities in a productive and efficient mining team.

At GuardVant of Tucson, our goal is to help you create a healthy and positive workplace free from the hazards caused by operator fatigue. We offer driver fatigue monitoring systems and collision avoidance solutions designed to protect your employees and equipment around the clock. Please take a look at our website to learn how our solutions can benefit you, or call us today at (520) 299-1911 to discuss your needs.