The mining industry has gradually become more interested in the health and safety of its workers. Safety guidelines, procedures and rules have been written in an attempt to minimise the risk of injury or fatality to workers in order to return them home safely to their families at the end of the day. In open cut operations with long haul cycles, driver fatigue has become a concern that is difficult to mitigate.
This thesis involves a study of the proactive fatigue monitoring device used by the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB). The study will be conducted with the help of Tarong Coal Mine. Tarong Coal Mine is commencing a second trial period of ARRB’s fatigue monitoring program, this time using an updated version of the fatigue monitoring device. Once this trial period is completed and the devices are fully operational, the mine will install a device on each of their eleven trucks.
The assessment of the device will be conducted through communication, research and visits. The communication will be with other people that have assessed fatigue and fatigue monitoring devices, Nick Mabbott who created ARRB’s device and with Tarong Coal Mine. Research will be for any papers related to fatigue monitoring technologies, with a focus on ARRB’s fatigue monitoring device. Visits will be with Tarong Coal Mine to find out information particular to ARRB’s fatigue monitoring device. A survey is also being conducted to gauge the opinion of truck drivers at Tarong mine towards the fatigue monitoring technology.
There will also be research conducted into other fatigue monitoring devices that are available. These will be assessed in terms of validation, and issues regarding acceptance of the devices will be investigated. If another device that is being developed to monitor fatigue that is not available is found, the progress of this device will be examined.
A conclusion will be drawn on the suitability of the fatigue monitoring device that is used by ARRB. Any issues on fatigue monitoring that have come to light will be outlined. As well, the acceptance of the fatigue monitoring devices by the companies, unions and the Driver Fatigue Monitoring – A Study of the ARRB Fatigue Monitoring System Sharon Harmston III workers will have been investigated. If there is a fatigue monitoring device that is being developed, the potential of this new device will be examined and outlined.
The original version of ARRB’s fatigue monitoring device works and detects more than 85% of fatigue events of a driver. Once the newer version of fatigue monitor is running, the new location of the buttons within the steering wheel should not affect the accuracy of the computing logic that has already been established. A comparison of the two devices should be made to determine which would suit the drivers better.
One fatigue monitoring device that has promise to be more accurate than 85% is the EEG measure of fatigue. Provided that this device ends up as a product, it has the potential to be a good monitoring device as well. This device has to be worn – an area that the survey of truck drivers showed was not the most preferred.