Reactec evolves technology

Injury monitoring device adapted for safe distancing

Keeping watch: a wrist-worn safe distancing device

An Edinburgh company has turned its system for measuring workers’ risk to industrial injury into a device that helps them manage social distancing from colleagues.

Reactec has re-purposed its hand arm vibration monitor HAVwear, a wrist-worn device used to test the impact of heavy duty drills and similar tools.

Technicians at the firm have developed Safedistance software into the devices which will alert workers in construction, rail, manufacturing and other workplaces if they have strayed to within two metres of a colleague.

It informs employers of the frequency and severity of breaches of social distancing guidelines and can help with contact tracing of those who have been close to employees subsequently displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

Jacqui McLaughlin, CEO of Reactec, said: “Social distancing will clearly be with us for some time and it’s vital that when people get back to work they can do so safely.

“Our team has moved quickly to repurpose our technology to help businesses to ensure that their teams are working safely.

Developing our technology to include social distancing was a logical next step

– Jacqui McLaughlin, Reactec

“Reactec, is already dedicated to helping reduce the damage to workers’ health from exposure to vibration, so developing our technology to include social distancing was a logical next step in response to COVID-19. We want to play our part in getting everyone back to work safely and with confidence.”

Reactec has discussed the capabilities of Safedistance at Ministerial level with the Scottish Government. 

Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, said: “Companies right across Scotland have been diversifying production lines, increasing capacity or exploring new distribution routes to help deliver what is needed, when it’s needed.

“Technology is going to play a crucial role in helping us overcome the long-term challenges presented by COVID-19 so it is great to see innovative, dynamic companies re-purposing existing technology to help us protect workers from potential exposure in the future.”

Among a number of companies now trialling the Safedistance technology is civil engineering group, Keltbray.

Paul Deacy, managing director of demolitions and civils, said: “Keltbray is encouraged by this new offering. This could truly assist us in managing social distancing across our projects.”

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