KAZ Minerals places the utmost importance on its safety and health performance, and as part of its Goal Zero initiative the Group has the ambition to reduce the number of safety incidents at its operations to zero. Drowsiness, fatigue and distraction are known to increase human error and cause near misses and accidents, which could, in the worst case, result in a fatality. The heavy equipment in operation at the Group’s mines increases this risk and, as a result, the Group has installed an operator alertness system in haul trucks and water trucks in its mining fleet at the Bozshakol site.
The operator alertness system provides integrated fatigue and distraction detection, an alerting system for drivers and incident reporting, helping operators maintain their attention throughout shifts. Prior to implementation, the Group performed a baseline test and has identified a 98% reduction in potential incidents following the installation of the system. The operator alertness system provides a real-time risk status for operators’ fatigue and distraction and delivers reliable alerts of fatigue and distraction events to avert potential accidents. It features a cloud platform to assess the fatigue risks of individual operators on a continuous basis, enabling intervention where necessary. The system consists of an infrared camera, which is installed on the front panel of the haul truck cab in front of the driver and feeds information to the mine dispatch team. Depending on a driver’s eye movement and behaviour, an artificial intelligence programme provides real-time notifications to the equipment operators by delivering sound and vibratory signals to alert the driver and the remote monitoring unit. Remote monitoring centres provide an independent review of each alert before providing notification of any critical events for immediate action to the mine management team.
The operations team at Bozshakol developed a process to monitor and respond to system notifications with a set of measures and procedures with responsibilities assigned for each team member. The cameras not only monitor drivers’ alertness but also help to investigate causes of accidents. When a lapse in attention is registered, the recording is automatically saved in the server and the report is sent as a notification via a text message or email. This allows the mine management team to provide tailored support to operators, based on their individual circumstances.