Caterpillar Takes Closer Look at Operator Fatigue

September 17, 2015



Caterpillar Safety Services completed a trial of Vigo Coal Company’s Driver Safety System (DSS), to examine the pervasiveness of operator fatigue in daily heavy equipment operations.

DSS is a technology-enabled monitoring service that helps mining and construction clients understand the extent of this particular safety issue. The technology quantify merges operator data compiled by wearable and in-cab anti-fatigue technologies with machine data.

Trial results using in-cab anti-fatigue technology recorded 42 fatigue events and some instances where operators fell asleep for five to six seconds at one time.

To combat the safety issue of operator fatigue, Caterpillar offers a Fatigue Risk Management System which includes:

  • The Cat Smartband by Fatigue Science, is a wrist-worn device that measures sleep quantity and quality, providing visibility to the connection between sleep, fatigue and accident risk on and off the jobsite.
  • The Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool (FAST), developed by the U.S. military, helps supervisors model different shift schedules to determine fatigue vulnerabilities and avoid them. 

  • In-cab cameras with patented eye and head tracking algorithms, developed by Seeing Machines, are installed and used to detect operator fatigue and distraction in real-time. If the camera detects the onset of a micro-sleep event – that fraction of a second nod off we’ve all
experienced at least once – the
driver’s seat shakes. If it detects
what it suspects is a distraction
event, an in-cab alarm sounds.