Automated and Continuous Fatigue Monitoring in Construction Workers Using Forearm EMG and IMU Wearable Sensors and Recurrent Neural Network

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About 40% of the US construction workforce experiences high-level fatigue, which leads to poor judgment, increased risk of injuries, a decrease in productivity, and a lower quality of work. Therefore, it is essential to monitor fatigue to reduce its adverse effects and prevent long-term health problems. However, since fatigue demonstrates itself in several complex processes, there is no single standard measurement method for fatigue detection. This study aims to develop a system for continuous workers' fatigue monitoring by predicting the aerobic fatigue threshold (AFT) using forearm muscle activity and motion data. The proposed system consists of five modules: Data acquisition, activity recognition, oxygen uptake prediction, maximum aerobic capacity (MAC) estimation, and continuous AFT monitoring. The proposed system was evaluated on the participants performing fourteen scaffold-building activities. The results show that the AFT features have achieved a higher accuracy of 92.31% in assessing the workers' fatigue level compared to heart rate (51.28%) and percentage heart rate reserve (50.43%) features. Moreover, the overall performance of the proposed system on unseen data using average two-min AFT features was 76.74%. The study validates the feasibility of using forearm muscle activity and motion data to workers' fatigue levels continuously.

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Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)

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