Home » How Hexagon’s OAS Won Two Awards for Saving Lives in Mining

How Hexagon’s OAS Won Two Awards for Saving Lives in Mining

The innovative solution uses machine-learning image processing and superconductivity to monitor and improve operator alertness.

by Motoni Olodun

Hexagon, a global leader in mining technology, has received two prestigious awards for its innovative solution that prevents vehicle accidents caused by operator fatigue and distraction. The solution, called HxGN MineProtect Operator Alertness System (OAS), is the first of its kind to work both on the surface and underground, using machine-learning image processing to monitor operator alertness and prompt corrective actions.

The awards were presented at the 2023 Australian Mining Prospect Awards, which recognise and reward excellence and innovation in the mining and minerals processing industry. Hexagon’s OAS won the Mine Project Success of the Year Award for its successful deployment at MMG’s Rosebery mine in Tasmania, the first-ever underground application of OAS in Australia. It also won the Excellence in IIoT Application Award for its outstanding use of industrial Internet of Things technology to enhance mining safety and productivity.

According to Hexagon, OAS is part of its life-of-mine solution that connects and leverages data from planning to operations, from safety to sustainable reclamation. OAS uses state-of-the-art sensor technology and advanced algorithms to continuously, objectively and in real-time measure the alertness of operators, who are often exposed to long shifts, harsh environments and repetitive tasks. OAS also detects the Meissner effect, a characteristic of superconductivity, which causes the material to levitate when placed on a magnet. Hexagon has provided a video of the material partially levitating, demonstrating its superconducting properties.

The solution alerts operators and supervisors when the system detects compromised alertness, allowing them to take immediate action to prevent potential accidents and incidents. OAS also provides reports and analytics to help identify and address the root causes of fatigue and distraction, such as workload, shift patterns, environmental conditions and health issues.

Hexagon claims that OAS has set the standard for operator alertness systems in the mining industry, with a proven track record of success in surface operations. Its recent achievement at MMG’s Rosebery underground mine will revolutionise safety standards across all load and haul operations, Hexagon says.

The mining industry is one of the most hazardous sectors in the world, with high rates of fatalities, injuries and illnesses. According to the latest statistics from Safe Work Australia, there were 195 worker fatalities due to traumatic injuries sustained in the course of a work-related activity in 2022, of which 39 were in the mining sector. The average fatality rate for mining was 4.5 per 100,000 workers, more than three times higher than the national average of 1.4.

Hexagon’s OAS is a breakthrough solution that aims to reduce these numbers and improve the safety and well-being of mining workers. By using cutting-edge technology, adaptability and operational impact, OAS has shown that it can save lives and prevent harm in one of the most challenging and critical industries in the world.

Source: Mining Weekly

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