How Will Wearable Technology Impact Personal Safety in the Mining Sector?

There are numerous industrial safety applications for wearable technology.

FREMONT, CA: Wearable technology has been around for some years; a glance around the workplace reveals numerous smart watches, activity trackers, and audio gadgets, to mention a few. While this technology has been widely used in daily lives, its expansion in the mining industry has been slow.

People collectively see a change toward safer, healthier, and more productive work environments with further technological integration.

There are currently portable gas monitors, cap lamps with tracking, and training aids on the market; it would be difficult to find a mining expo without virtual headsets or simulators. Apart from these standard instruments, wearable technology fundamentally alters subsurface safety.

As mines continue to dig deeper, there is an increased requirement on personal protective equipment (PPE) to adapt and develop to changing mine environments, such as rising temperatures, gas levels, and dust particulate exposure.

Wearable technology use will alter subsurface safety. Several examples include the following:

  • Wearable technology emerges as another valuable data source. The IIoT connects places by smoothly collecting data from different touchpoints. Connectivity across several devices, including intelligent personal protective equipment (PPE), will provide sites and HSE managers with a real-time, comprehensive view of on-site people’s environment, machinery, and health.
  • Interactions between robots and humans become seamless, moving in lockstep with technology to create more efficient and safe operations. People can take progressive or corrective measures with zero latency by combining safety and environmental data with information from sensors and equipment.
  • Safety is proactive and tailored to the individual. Security must adapt as the changing workforce adopts new technology. Technology enables the management of protection tailored to the individual.

Mining is the soul of technology; a large proportion of the components used in these technologies are derived from underground mines. Thus, it is somewhat poetic that technology is reintroduced to enhance operations and create a safer working environment.

There are obvious obstacles that both sides must overcome to apply technology underground successfully. However, as wearable technology advances in intelligence and sophistication, the benefits to individuals, managers, and businesses vastly outweigh any drawbacks.

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