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Caterpillar Reduces Operator Fatigue Through Technological Innovation

Jun 7, 2022 | Application Field | 0 comments

Caterpillar has been researching driver fatigue and distraction since 2007, and this research has become a promising new technology-assisted business for Caterpillar Safety Services. Dozens of clients have approached this team of consultants for help.
Combining the anti-fatigue technologies on the market with its own expertise in safety enhancement and change management, Caterpillar has launched the Fatigue Risk Management System, which provides customers with an integrated approach to measure risk, mitigate and manage hazards.Caterpillar-reduces-operator-fatigue-through-technological-innovation-Size-1200x900-1careful observation

Vigo Coal, which operates a coal mine in Indiana, has six earthmoving equipment in a sprawling mine. Vigo just concluded a test of the Driver Safety System™. Through wearables and in-cab anti-fatigue technology, this technology-assisted monitoring service can help clients in the mining and construction industries and others by capturing driver data and combining device data to quantify the cost of driver safety issues Users of larger devices understand the breadth of driver safety concerns.
To help customers eliminate risk, Caterpillar provides rapid improvement workshops and long-term change management consulting services to change the attitudes, behaviors and thinking of employees within the customer’s organization.
This comprehensive approach leverages Caterpillar’s experience to reduce accidents and improve service quality, and is used by many important Cat customers on jobsites around the world, even on some sites where Caterpillar does not. This solution has also been applied.

Beyond the device itself

Like many companies that operate 24/7, Vigo understands driver fatigue is a problem, but doesn’t know the magnitude of the problem.
The company’s top priority is avoiding accidents and injuries on the site, but like other mining companies, Vigo is also concerned about the cost per ton of coal produced. Company managers know that even if accidents can be avoided, fatigued drivers can still have costly consequences, such as equipment being driven to the curb and tire wear.
That’s why Vigo participated in Caterpillar Safety Services’ driver safety system testing to quantify the risks posed by fatigued operations. The test results were shocking. A week-long monitoring of six trucks identified 42 instances of driver fatigue. In one of the tests, a driver fell asleep for five to six seconds during the maneuver.
Impressed by the results of the tests, Vigo decided to implement in-cab monitoring technology throughout the site and hired Caterpillar consultants to implement new processes that would improve personnel safety and increase the productivity and profitability of the operation.
Nathan Brownell, general manager of Vigo, said, “It was very easy to install the system on our trucks. As long as we could avoid a single human injury, it was worth the cost.”
Tim Crane, Caterpillar Security Services Manager, said, “We provide solutions that are not limited to the device itself. Throughout the process, we think beyond potential customers and show them what Caterpillar is capable of in different ways.”

fatigue risk management system

The FRMS provided by Caterpillar consists of three advanced technologies. The Cat smart bracelet is a device worn on the wrist to monitor sleep time and quality, reflecting the correlation between sleep, fatigue and accident risk. Fatigue avoidance planning tools can help supervisors simulate different shift schedules, identify existing fatigue loopholes and avoid them. The in-drive camera uses patented eye and head positioning algorithms to monitor driver fatigue and distraction in real time. If the camera captures the micro-sleep state, the driver’s seat rocks. If the monitoring suspects that the driver is distracted, an alarm will sound in the cab.
Once the alarm system is activated, safety advisors at Caterpillar’s 24/7 fleet monitoring center in Peoria assess the incident and call the site supervisor if driver fatigue or distraction is identified. The next step depends on the customer’s response to the accident, and the driver may be changed or asked to take a break.
Safety Oversight Supervisor Danielle Mackie said, “To ensure that the analysis is valid and supports the integrity of the process, each incident is confirmed twice, which means that two safety consultants will review at the same time, and if there is a problem, the site will be notified by phone. “
The purpose of this is not to punish drivers, but to make it easier for everyone to observe risks that may occur, helping them improve operational procedures.
In-cab cameras, smart bracelets and planning tools are just some of the new services. On the other hand, Caterpillar consultants use these technologies to help customers implement organizational changes to improve the driver’s physical condition each time they are on duty.


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