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US equipment and machinery maker Caterpillar has partnered with Guardhat to provide safety solutions to surface mining operations via Cat dealers.

The two firms are in the process of developing a new system called Cat Connected Worker. This system will use wearable technology to provide increased protection for mine workers.

It will also deliver event-based monitoring as well as mapping to enhance the mining environment.

Cat MineStar Solutions marketing manager Bill Dears said: “Leveraging Guardhat technology, proven in challenging industrial settings, will speed development of a comprehensive, digital solution sought by mining customers.

“As a component of Cat MineStar Detect safety capabilities, Connected Worker will provide insight that will enable managers to create safer operations—and to respond quickly if an incident does occur.

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Once completed, Cat Connected Worker will provide ‘precise location of all workers to the mine monitoring system’, thereby, allowing individual, team and site communication.

Data will facilitate decision making and enable monitoring workforce to understand the kind of ‘environment workers are facing in near real time’.

The Cat Connected Worker system will be supported by Cat dealers worldwide as part of Cat MineStar.

According to Caterpillar, the same Cat dealers are equipped to supply existing Guardhat technology to all types of surface mining operations.

Guardhat chief operating officer Indranil Roychoudhury said: “Our safety monitoring and data analysis system is a multi-product, feature-packed intelligent safety and productivity system that integrates cutting edge wearable technology and advanced proprietary software.

“It is equipped to detect, alert and help prevent industrial work-related incidents, and it is designed to collect and analyze data to support and improve worker safety and productivity programs.”

In May, Caterpillar expanded the Cat MineStar Solutions suite of technologies with a new technology platform MineStar Edge.