Earpiece pilot program set to improve on-site health and safety


Australian technology innovator Canaria Technologies has partnered with Embley Contracting to roll out its ground-breaking predictive biometric technology at Rio Tinto’s Western Cape York operations in Queensland.

This technology will break significant ground in workplace health and safety management, and mark a critical turning point in Canaria Technologies’ growth beyond the development stage.  


The Canaria-V Earpiece is a medical-grade wearable technology that utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to predict heat exhaustion, cognitive fatigue and man-down events in real-time. 


It is set to transform the way people and companies work through real-time health management, saving lives and increasing productivity by predicting serious medical incidents in users before they happen.  


As part of this world-first program at Rio Tinto’s operations in Western Cape York in Far North Queensland, Embley Contracting has partnered with Canaria Technologies to roll out the Canaria-V Earpiece, with the technology worn by technicians, process plant operators and coach drivers in extreme heat conditions across a five-day period. 


In Australia alone, cognitive fatigue currently accounts for two thirds of all industrial accidents and costs the country $61.8 billion in safety-related work injuries.  


Canaria Technologies managing director Theodora Le Souquet said the partnership with Embley Contracting was a significant step in the right direction to revolutionising workplace health and safety mandates in the mining industry.  


“Our partnership with Embley Contracting will assist Canaria Technologies in becoming a recognised leader in predictive biometrics on the global stage, pioneering the next generation of industrial safety and positioning us for international growth with some of world’s largest mining companies,” she said.  


“The Canaria-V Earpiece software allows for the constant evolution of protocols and safety management to set a new standard in workplace health and safety mandates which have not seen substantial progression in decades. 


“The success of this pilot program, as well as a previous project undertaken at Rio Tinto’s joint venture Resolution Copper Mine in Arizona earlier this year, has positioned Canaria Technologies at the forefront of workplace health and safety innovation.”  


The pilot program included the deployment of prototype predictive biometric devices across underground mine sites to capture data for use in the prediction of heat stress, man down and cognitive fatigue scenarios throughout ordinary rostered shifts.  


The Canaria-V Earpiece works by using a proprietary, real-time predictive biometric algorithm to measure skin temperature, movement, volumetric variations of blood circulation and environmental data, alerting the individual to any cognitive fatigue and heat stress-driven risks before they happen, preventing potentially fatal on-site incidents.  


“Our overarching objective is to improve safety for those on the ground while reducing on-site incident frequency, and associated insurance and asset damage costs, as well as optimising incident recovery time for workers affected by heat stress and cognitive fatigue to improve site productivity,” Le Souquet said.  


Rio Tinto’s recent pilot program has also marked a significant move in spearheading Australia’s world-leading predictive biometrics while maintaining onshore design, engineering and manufacturing of the devices, contributing to Australia’s tech-driven economy.  

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