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Resource Industry Insights

The heavy industries face numerous challenges in managing a dispersed workforce. Serious incidents from Cognitive Fatigue and Heat Stress adversely affects employees’ well-being and may incur significant expense and reputational damage.

Cognitive Fatigue

Serious incidents adversely affecting employees’ well-being may incur significant expenses and reputational damage, ranging from AUD $20M in employee compensation and additional associated operational cost. In 2012-13, work-related injuries in Australia cost the industry AUD$61.8B, equitable to more than 4% of Australia’s GDP.

"Cognitive Fatigue is defined as a decline in task performance as measured clinically by electroencephalography activity. Cognitive Fatigue causes approximately two-thirds of all heavy industrial accidents globally(1). It is a biological response after prolonged periods subjecting the body to strenuous activities or environments and can be exacerbated by factors such as heat, humidity, and interrupted or reduced sleep. Cognitive Fatigue is more than feeling tired and drowsy. At work, fatigue is a state of mental and/or physical exhaustion that reduces your ability to work safely and effectively."

In 2019 Cognitive Fatigue was cited as the underlying cause of 144 fatalities, where more than 30%, were machinery operators and drivers(2). In most situations, identification of Cognitive Fatigue relies on subjective self-assessment, self-awareness, and an individual’s ability to respond prior to an incident occurring, at a time when they are experiencing less than optimal faculties. These factors have led to pursuing insights into preventing Cognitive Fatigue at worksites. In 2019, cognitive fatigue was cited as the underlying cause of 144 fatalities, where 43, or more than 30%, were machinery operators and drivers.

Wearable Predictive Biometrics Systems may be utilised to solve this problem by providing individualised early warning thresholds alongside integrated safety protocols to ensure our users are kept safe at all times, with or without access to an internet connection.

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$4 Million

is lost everyday in the industrial sector from Fatigue-related incidents

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30,000

Fatigue-related incidents in the industrial sector each year

Heat Stress

Heat Stress is defined as the external heat load applied to an individual from external (esp. environmental) sources. Heat Stress was analysed due to its relationship to Cognitive Fatigue and prevalence in mining environments. External research indicates Heat Stress incidents (1) cost an average of ~AUD $6.5K per incident in rostering expenses, investigation, and rehabilitation (3). At least 1,600 serious Heat Stress incidents occur each summer in Australian workplaces, at a conservative primary cost of $10.4M to industry (4), excluding costs associated with damage to equipment, loss of production time, or associated with personal compensation. Management of Heat Stress has been understood to be a serious health concern throughout mining and resources as heat stress occurs when the body is unable to cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature. The science of understanding the exact nature of early warning signals of Heat Stress is unproven due to limitations of technological advancement. Precise Heat Stress prediction requires accurate measurement and analysis of associated physiological symptoms.

[1] Resource-Super-Mental-Health-Report-2019

[2] Review of all fatal accidents in mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019

[3] ‘Feeling tired?’ Mining Magazine 2013:38

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$6,500 AUD

per incident lost in rostering expenses

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8000

Reported incidents within a one year period

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