Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Digital Keys can help monitor hours of work in mine sites and be used as a tool in fatigue management

In the past we've explored the benefits that digital keys/smartlocks can bring to people’s lives - for example never being locked out of your home again.

We've also explored many different applications for digital keys/smartlocks, from offices, to tennis courts, to hotels, to parcel delivery containers, to people’s homes, to last week’s post about the use of digital keys to better manage ‘public toilets’.

We've also explored on many occasions how digital key/smartlocks address ‘security and convenience problems’ prevalent everywhere – for example anyone can watch a short YouTube video and learn in minutes how to snap, crack, bump, or jemmy open a metal key lock and break in anywhere. Put simply - by replacing a metal key lock with a smartlock you’ve instantly made your property more secure. Further your life is more convenient – you can provide time-sensitive digital keys to your family, your friends, your dog walker, your contractors etc, in an instant from your smartphone to their smartphone. So this all seems fairly logical right?  

But what about other problems outside of ‘security and convenience’ that digital keys smartlocks could address? And what about some other applications we've never explored before?

‘Digital Keys can help ‘monitor hours of work’ in mine sites and therefore be used as a tool in mine sites fatigue management plans.  Fatigue is a massive problem in mine sites. All mines have a duty of care to develop and implement fatigue management plans.  Addressing fatigue is important so things like in the images below don’t happen.



Swipe/smart cards are used in some mine sites as a monitoring system for employees hours worked and to support the use of timesheets.  However smart card systems have many limitations. According to ‘A Practical Guide to Developing and Implementing a Fatigue Management Plan for the New South Wales(Australia) Mining and Extractives Industry, prepared by the NSW Government,
‘for existing smart card systems to have maximum functionality, the systems established by different providers must be able to read records of hours worked stored on cards provided by other companies’.  

What this is saying is that in in traditional swipe/smart card systems the ‘data cannot communicate’. Smart/swipe card systems are usually a closed network - the control of the access rights and the data collection usually occurs on one person’s PC. The data is isolated, hard to access, and is not in a 'data interactive friendly format'.  You could say that the data collected from smartcard systems are not much use because its 'locked up' – pardon the pun.

In the last year or two we've seen Wi-Fi and cloud based systems begin to address some of the wired swipe/card data limitations. But the problem is we’re talking about mine sites here, where internet and Wi-Fi is often limited or non existent.

Digital Key systems are perfect for mine sites. Not only to they not require any onsite Wi-Fi or any supporting network infrastructure, but you can audit them anytime by visiting the locks and touching a small device to the lock to extract the data with infra-red. The data can also be stored in the cloud and it can be ‘format/interactive’ friendly, so it can communicate with other data.


Digital Keys can track employee’s movements around mine sites – ie what time they went to the gym; what time they got in the truck; what time they went to their quarters to bed; what time they left station A; and arrived at station B; what time they took a break in the lunch room. Oh yeah and Digital Keys are great for security and convenience too - but I think we already said that a few times!


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