Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
A new report by Toronto consulting firm Delicotte, in collaboration with non-profit innovation centre Norcat, examines the safety benefits of wearable technology in the mining industry.
Published on July 18, 2019, “Future of Mining with Wearables: Harnessing the hype to improve safety” discusses the OH&S and environmental advantages of Mining safety gear and how to leverage the technology to achieve better outcomes for Mining entities globally.
“As declining or reserves push mines to greater depths and increasingly remote locations, new technologies are being developed to cut costs, decrease risk, and drive productivity,” the 14-page report’s introduction reads. “Wearables – clothing, gear and other accessories incorporating computer and advance electronic equipment – are one set of emerging solutions driving productivity, but are also critical in ensuring mining executives or equipped to address OH&S challenges.”
The introduction adds that wearables have evolved into key enablers in addressing for important Mining safety challenges: environmental monitoring, focus on workers’ health, training with new-technology adoption, and incident rates at new or exploratory mine sites.
Although wearables are driving productivity and Mining pilots show clear safety improvement, operations still face many issues and challenges, the report claims. Issue examples include lack of data privacy, leadership stalling the implementation of wearables, lack of engagement with wearables and workplace culture, and availability of reliable technical infrastructure.
“The mining industry is attempting to solve some of these challenges through iterative and collaborative approaches that simultaneously break down barriers to adoption and focus on understanding the end users’ needs,” the report reads.
The best solution, according to Deliotte and Norcat, is a structured approach. “A thorough implementation and scaling strategy drives focus and alignment across the organization, enabling leaders to better engage relevant stakeholders, ensuring both commitment and increased transparency.”
Based on interviews conducted as part of research with Norcat, Deliotte identifies four areas of action: thinking about strategy; collaborating with stakeholders; focusing on the product; and building technical capabilities. Sub- categories of these areas to consider include goals and aspirations, user needs, encouraging adoption, innovation, and Internet support and cyber security.
“Embracing the full potential of wearables requires mining leaders to think through questions that will arise during pilot, implementation and scaling phases,” the report concludes. “This multifaceted framework… Will guide mining executives when investing in wearable technologies to benefit mining operations and reduce safety incidents.”
Deliotte and Norcat are partnering to help the global mining industry better comprehend the latest technologies and innovation trends, according to the companies.
Deliotte, a private consulting company, deals with such issues as: Audit and Assurance, Risk Assessment and Advisory, as well as Consulting in such industries as: Automotive, Mining and Metals, Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Telecommunications, Healthcare and Civil government.
NORCAT was founded in 1995 by a team of business and academic visionaries who recognized the need for an organization to promote, educate, and support local entrepreneurs, tech innovators, and skilled labour workers to enable long-term and sustainable economic and social prosperity for Northern Ontario. Since our humble beginnings, NORCAT has proudly evolved to be a multi-national, global company offering programs, services, and resources that provide our clients with the skills, competencies, and confidence to fulfill their diverse and ambitious priorities and career aspirations.
This collaboration seemed inevitable as these leaders in their respective fields would attempt to be proactive in mining safety.
I was pleased to see the report because we know there is a real need here. Hopefully, the mining industry finds the report viable and works to be proactively compliant instead of bringing up the rear.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including safety audits and workplace safety assessments.
Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.