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New Tech Could Help Prevent Hand Arm Vibration Injury

Dominique Adams


worker using power tools outside in construction

Edinburgh-based firm Reactec has co-developed a new monitoring system it says can ‘make a real difference’ to health and safety in heavy industries. 

Edinburgh-based Reactec, a provider of monitoring devices to help mitigate the risk of exposure to Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) from the use of power tools, has teamed up with software consultancy CoreRFID, to produce a new automated tracking and reporting tool.

Reactec claims that its new tool will “make a real difference” to health and safety in heavy industries, and thus reduce legal risks. HAV, which is caused by the vibrations from power tools, can cause damage to blood vessels, nerves, muscles and joints of the hand, wrist and arm.

It is estimated that roughly two million UK workers are at risk of vibration-related illness and injury. According to Health and Safety Executive reports, British heavy industries are faced with more than 3,000 litigation claims annually for industrial injury caused by vibration related illness.

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Utilising radio-frequency identification technology, the tech is able to automatically collect data and enable workers on-site to self monitor the effect using power tools is having on them in real-time.

The software is linked to the Reactec’s products, which include wearables such as wristwatches and tool-mounted devices which can help to manage exposure to HAV, and improve protection for employees.

Reactec’s software is paired with bespoke tool-tagging technology created by CoreRFID, which can create tags with a larger-than-standard antenna to handle the transmission and reception problems that often occur when working near vibrating and electrical tools.

With over 550 customers, and clients including British Airways and Siemens, Reactec’s products have been deployed in the construction, automotive, marine, energy, and utility sectors.

Chief executive Jacqui McLaughlin said: “The solution we’ve developed with the support of CoreRFID will make a real difference for businesses seeking to reduce health and legal risks.”

Leif Anderson, chief technology officer, added: “The technology used in the HAVwear is unique and robust. It offers a reliable and easy to use system to monitor levels of vibration exposure in some of the most demanding industry environments with informative analytics to drive risk reduction controls.”

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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