Device helps tackle disease
Vibration monitor tested by East Coast rail workers
The Rail Electrification Alliance (REAL), which is delivering Network Rail’s £237million power upgrade, has installed the Havwear monitoring system on all high powered tools across the project.
Reactec says its monitors help to combat the incurable disease Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) – one of the most common industrial diseases in the UK.
The condition is usually caused by the prolonged use of power hand tools, whose vibrations can damage the blood vessels, nerves, muscles and joints of the hand, wrist and arm.
The unique system is worn by the tool user and features a wrist monitor, which is synchronised to a special tag on the piece of equipment to be used. If the vibrations from the equipment exceed guidelines set by the Health and Safety Executive, the wrist monitor emits a visible and audible warning for the operator to stop work.
With the support of the Reactec analytics platform software, the system also provides constant monitoring with automated reporting, to enable effective risk reduction. It is the only practical way to continuously measure actual vibration exposure and eliminates the current practice of estimating workers’ risk levels.
Jacqui McLaughlin, chief executive of Reactec, said: “The HAVS condition is incurable so it’s essential that employers do everything they can to prevent this debilitating condition in their workforce.”
Ian Kilgour, head of safety for the REAL Alliance said: “The continued safety of our workforce is at the heart of all that we do. As such, we are always keen to explore, and where appropriate, adopt new systems to help deliver this objective.”