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Carillion Plc

Carillion is an integrated support services company with a substantial portfolio of Public Private Partnership projects and extensive construction capabilities. Site Agent Jonathan Long is currently overseeing the platform refurbishment project at Glasgow Central Rail Station, and is pleased that bringing Reactec’s HAVmeter system on site to monitor Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) has resulted in a significant increase in worker protection and productivity, and a cost saving of at least £3,000 for the project in labour costs alone in just 18 months.

Jonathan said: “Jobs on site include a lot of breakout work and drilling, particularly at the start of the project. This requires the use of a range of power tools, all of which generate vibration at varying levels, so our team members are frequently exposed.

“For previous projects we had been using a paper-based system for HAV monitoring, in line with the guidelines set out by the HSE. We found, however, that self-monitoring by individual employees was not the most accurate way to record vibration exposure, as much of the records were based on rough estimations. An employee might have had a power tool out for an hour, but only used it for a few short bursts of activity within that hour, or conversely been on a breaker for three hours non-stop, so the time recorded could be highly inaccurate.

“It was also really time-consuming to compile and analyse data reports, and difficult to know which tools were putting our workers most at risk, but all of these problems are addressed with the HAVmeter system.”

Carillion implemented the HAVmeter – the industry standard for monitoring and managing HAV exposure and operator tool management – in 2011 when work at Glasgow Central Station began. Jonathan estimates that by adopting the system, Carillion has saved an estimated £3,000 in labour costs alone over the past 18 months, in terms of the time taken to record data and compile reports for 12 operatives and an engineer. The HAVmeter completely automates the entire monitoring, data collection and reporting process – from operator exposure levels to detailed records of tool usage – so managers can proactively manage HAVS risk, plan efficient tool allocation and improve worker efficiency.

Jonathan said: “As with any project of this nature, there are several and serious he and safety risks to mitigate against, including live adjacent railway and overhead line equipment, plant movements and engineering trains. HAVS is an important occupational health risk in its own right, but thanks to the HAVmeter system I am reassured that this risk is under control.

“Improving business practices and the health and safety of our employees are always priorities for Carillion. The HAVmeter system has allowed our employees to effectively control their own exposure to vibration, saving time and money which was spent on the old cumbersome paper-based system, and improving worker efficiency.”

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“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.”