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New system aims to reduce vibration injuries in heavy industry

Reactec CEO Jacqui McLaughlin

A new automated management tracking and reporting system.developed with support from CoreRFID aims to reduce vibration injuries amongst employees in heavy industry.

Edinburgh-based Reactec – the UK leader in Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) risk management – has worked with CoreRFID to develop a range of HAV management tools. These include its HAVwear wearable technology, HAVmeter tool mounted technology, mobile apps and an analytics software platform.

The new HAVwear device, is worn like a wristwatch, and provides real-use monitoring of HAV exposure when using power tools. The HAVwear displays total vibration exposure, which helps workers manage their own exposure while the automatically collated data informs managers’ efforts to control the risk.

The HAVwear device works with tool-tagging technology specifically designed and supplied by CoreRFID. The tags carry data about the tool, its make and model, a unique tool number, and an average tool vibration value. When workers operate a tool they sign it out with a personal swipe card that carries details of their allowed levels of vibration exposure.

CoreRFID designed the tags with a larger than standard antenna in order to cope with the transmission and reception problems found on vibrating and electrical tools. Additionally it created software to save space in the limited capacity of the tags and used encryption / decryption techniques to store the data and arrange production.

Each year British industry is faced with over 3000 litigation claims for industrial injury as a result of vibration related diseases and it is estimated around two million UK workers are at risk according to the Health and Safety Executive. Employers are obliged to ensure that workers are not exposed to limits greater than regulations allow.

Reactec’s HAVwear has been deployed in the construction, automotive and marine industries, energy and utilities sectors.

Leif Anderson, Reactec’s Chief Technology Officer, comments: ‘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.

Reactec’s CEO Jacqui McLaughlin comments: ‘The solution we’ve developed with the support of CoreRFID will make a real difference for businesses seeking to reduce health and legal risks.’

Munzi Ali, Technical Director of CoreRFID comments: ‘British workers exposed to high levels of vibration can develop conditions such ‘vibration white finger’ and carpal tunnel syndrome. Our collaboration with Reactec has produced a tool which can make a real and positive difference to reducing the health risk for workers and in turn employers.’