Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Company

 
 
 
 
Background 
 
Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Company has been a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group plc since 1993 and one of the top 3 UK bus companies. The Go-Ahead philosophy is to run its transport companies as autonomous businesses in tune with the local market. Brighton & Hove have successfully grown the market for local bus travel by an average 5% each year since 1993, something which is unique in the bus industry. 
 
Having been in the public transport business since running horse drawn buses in the 1880s, they now have one of the most modern fleets of state-of-the-art vehicles. Running a fleet of around 260 modern, diesel and hybrid buses on local bus services as well as 4 luxury coaches, all are repaired and maintained completely in house. 
 

Situation 
 
Having previously used tool diaries as part of a measure of controls for managing Hand Arm Vibration (HAV), it was deemed ‘notoriously inaccurate and difficult to collate’. The tool diaries were found to over-exaggerate risk and extremely time consuming to use and collate. Although it was always suspected by the company that their HAVS risk was in fact low and workers rarely exceeded 100 HSE exposure points, it was not practical to confirm this. 
 
The main risk of employee exposure to HAV came from the maintenance of the company’s fleet of buses which are all repaired and maintained in house. Maintenance of the fleet involves employees using a variety of tools including air impact guns, air saws and sanders. 
 
Solution 
 
After reviewing a number of systems Brighton Buses trialled and then deployed the Reactec Analytics Platform which includes a wearable wrist monitor called HAVwear and online exposure reports. Immediately they found the Analytics reports gave them greater insight and accuracy into tool usage and exposure risk. 
 
This was achieved by more accurate calculation of exposure risk from the wearer’s tool trigger time and pre-defined tool vibration. The HAVwear also senses the wearer’s exposure to vibration to provide a unique insight into highlighting unexpected exposure levels. For example one worker had double the expected HAV exposure level compared to other workers undertaking the same work activity which was due to poor tool use. The system also identified a tool that was outputting far higher vibration than anticipated than other same tool types and the tool was subsequently disposed of. 
 
Tim Witham, Health & Safety, Environmental Manager at Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Company said “The system has exceeded our expectations and allowed us to confidently know the perceived and actual risk of Hand Arm Vibration exposure to our staff. The reporting suite is clear, dynamic and responsive, the customer service has been, so far, exemplary and the product has withstood some scrutiny from our peers and from a visit by the HSE”.
 

Testimonial:

Everton Football Club - Richard Cairns, Health & Safety Manager

“Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is not just a problem for people using industrial power tools in the construction or manufacturing sectors – it can affect anyone who regularly uses other vibrating equipment including mowers and strimmers. We have dozens of lawnmowers that are in daily use at Goodison Park and our training complex at Finch Farm, so we have to have a monitoring system that is simple and effective. “In the past we relied on timesheets and individual record-keeping to monitor vibration exposure, but the HAVmeter system is a far superior method of doing this. All of the information is collated by the devices and provides us with a comprehensive overview of how much exposure each member of staff is subjected to. If they reach the safe limit stipulated by the HSE, then they are alerted to the danger at once – meaning there is no chance of over-exposure. “However, it is not just a good tool for preventing injuries. The system allows us to generate reports about the vibration levels of our equipment, so we can identify which machines need to be replaced or upgraded. It’s a very versatile piece of kit that will continue to be hugely beneficial to our groundskeeping operations in the future.”