BAM Nuttall is trialling new technology in an attempt to combat worker tiredness.
Five workers on one of BAM Nuttall’s rail projects in Wales are wearing special head bands inside their hard hats that monitor brain activity and alert the wearer if signs of fatigue set in.
The technology is supplied by Australian firm SmartCap Technologies Pty, a specialist in fatigue monitoring.
Its LifeBand is fitted to the inside of safety helmets and features a sensor that measures brain activity and provides alerts wirelessly to an app as the risk of “microsleep” – brief, unintended episodes of loss of attention often caused by monotonous or repetitive tasks – is identified.
BAM believes it could prove crucial to protecting lives of workers who work unsociable hours and whose role includes extensive travelling.
BAM Nuttall’s head of innovation, Colin Evison, said: “After hearing about SmartCap’s success with drivers of vehicles in Australian mining operations, we made initial contact last year with their team to see whether they could transfer their technology to suit more of a construction environment.
“Things have progressed and we now have five units being tested on our rail framework in Wales and a trial in Scotland is imminent too.
“It’s still early days, but early results indicate that fatigue awareness is already raised by those wearing the LifeBand. This device is effective in detecting symptoms of fatigue, something many people may be unaware of when at work, ensuring our workforce is safe on and off site.”
He added: “BAM Nuttall has a real appetite to explore technology solutions around the issues regarding health and safety on site.”