A BREAKTHROUGH in Australian-made integrated hardware and digital technology can now be used as a tool for the remote management of onsite workforce COVID-19 transmission risk in real-time.

The digital enablement of the units, named Bat Booths, manufactured by Mideco and developed by Pulse Mining Systems, will not only assist mining and quarrying operations to keep rolling during the pandemic, but also help to protect frontline workers from dust-related respiratory illnesses and other on-going work-related health threats.

Bat Booth was originally marketed as a simple but effective device for reducing the risk to workers from dust-related respiratory illnesses such as CWP (black lung disease) and silicosis.

The strategic alliance between Mideco and Pulse led to the development of real-time business intelligence dashboards for site supervisors and safety managers to ensure personnel used the Bat Booth as often as required by workplace policy.

With the onset of the pandemic, Mideco rapidly equipped Bat Booth with apparatus for monitoring and checking the body temperatures of workers on multiple sites.

This real-time health data feeds back into Pulse dashboards for instant management visibility, so managers are alerted in real-time if a potential virus carrier is detected.

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Bat Booth units can assist with the safe continuation of essential mining and quarrying operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dashboard visualisations and reports give managers greater visibility and control over workforce health, providing much-needed reassurance to employees and contractors, their families, and communities.

Pulse managing director and CEO Ash Bosworth said while there can be no upside to COVID-19, it was a privilege for the company to be contributing towards greater safety for people working in mining and quarrying at the present time.

“Mideco is an Australian company and like Pulse, making innovative products in Australia to assist industries around the world,” he said.

Bat Booth is operated onsite by users via a built-in tablet with simple login.

Live usage data is relayed to a secure, multi-tenanted platform by Pulse-driven data integration and analysis to produce multi-level dashboard visualisations and reports that managers can access from anywhere.

Managers in different roles at different sites can have their own specific dashboard views.

Head-office managers can view multiple sites on one dashboard, with instant drill-down to details on individuals.

Whenever Bat Booth detects a significant increase in a user’s normal temperature, suggesting the possible presence of viral infection, the anomaly is immediately visible on the dashboard and notified to managers by email or mobile alert.

Managers can take the appropriate next actions without any delay.

Mideco managing director Melton White said it had always been the company’s intention to extend Bat Booth capabilities beyond the core function of dust-related disease prevention, into other forms of occupational health and risk management.

“COVID-19 compelled us to fast-track the implementation of body-temperature monitoring and we upgraded Bat Booth electronics for digital interfacing,” he said.

“Rapid response by Pulse allowed us to bring the more powerful version of Bat Booth to the mining and quarrying industries when it’s most needed – right now.”

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