Construction companies are under increasing pressure to keep productivity up and costs down, while keeping their people safe. But those pressures may be contributing to operator fatigue and a hidden cost for companies. One insurance group study says fatigue is an increasing trend in construction, leading in some cases to accidents and diminished productivity.
Caterpillar Safety Services is focusing on the consequences of fatigue with technology that detects fatigue and distraction. The Driver Safety System is a non-intrusive, in-cab detection technology that instantly alerts operators the moment fatigue or distraction is identified. “When it uncovers a drowsy or distracted driver, it intervenes and wakes them up, saving their life or maybe somebody else’s,” says Mitch Cowart, Caterpillar Technology Expert.
The Cat® Smartband is a wrist-worn device that predicts fatigue. “And it does that mostly by measuring sleep quality and quantity,” says Cowart.
The system also includes Cat® Detect for Personnel, Radio Frequency Identification technology that detects ground workers present in an unsafe area behind equipment. The operator is alerted inside the cab with a visual and audible alarm when a ground worker is behind them.
Our Employee Fatigue Handbook provides the most realistic and actionable advice for FIFO and shift-workers, to help them postpone sleep until they can rest safely and improve the quality of sleep when they get it.
Fatigue management can be done through the development of a practical, effective system that predicts, measures and mitigates fatigue and distraction risks. Caterpillar’s fatigue risk management system can be easily maintained, carefully monitored and continuously improved.
The Caterpillar North Little Rock facility was one of the company’s worst safety performers back in 2011. Today the facility is recognized as a safety leader, and a model for leveraging upstream activities to achieve desirable downstream results.
Tired, distracted machine operators are a leading cause of accidents in the earth-moving world. The problem, rooted in human physiology, is insidious, cumulative and complex. But the new fatigue and distraction risk management solution from Caterpillar is showing customers ways to mitigate the hazard – and proving that the company’s commitment to innovation goes ‘beyond the iron.’
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