Reactec, the developer of HAVWEAR, the market leading wearable device that enables the monitoring of exposure to harmful hand arm vibration (HAV), has added Bluetooth capability to the device to enable supervisors to monitor workers’ exposure risk and to intervene if necessary in real time – for the first time.
The new Bluetooth feature on HAVWEAR’s award winning device allows supervisors and others to see, at a glance, the status of co-workers’ exposure risk at any time via an app on their smartphone. This enables real time assessment of risk and facilitates early intervention, allowing issues around work rotas, poor tool use or performance to be addressed without delay. These interventions are an essential part of a company’s continual risk reduction plan, allowing an unprecedented level of proactive involvement through this enhanced ability to monitor individual exposure. This further supports behavioural change and encourages both tool operator and their supervisor to participate in risk reduction with increased awareness.
This additional ability to assess risk in the field is in line with Health & Safety Executive guidance, which states: “Involving your employees in decisions can help improve working relationships, make your employees more receptive to new ideas and help you control exposure to hand-arm vibration”.
In addition to Bluetooth, a new control measures management service has been added to the Analytics Platform to further support a company’s continual risk reduction plan. This new service allows managers to add intervention notes as well as log and track HAV control measures against targets. This provides greater analysis of risk reduction and objective tracking of exposure trends bringing continuous improvement methodology to health risks.
HAVWEAR is the first technology of its kind in the UK, to be worn by the tool user and as part of the Reactec Analytics Platform with web based reporting, provides a fully automated exposure management support system. The reports help meet HSE compliance and aid the design and management of risk reduction controls. The condition Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), also known as White Finger Syndrome, is the permanent disablement of hand functions. There is no known cure for this disease, only prevention.
Commenting on the new Control measures management service, HAVWEAR Bluetooth feature and mobile app, Jacqui McLaughlin, Chief Executive of Reactec, said: "We believe it’s our responsibility to continuously develop our system to help our customers and their employees. Enhancing access to exposure data in this way and benchmarking related controls is an incremental improvement in risk reduction. The new Control measures management service, HAVWEAR Bluetooth feature and powerful mobile app represent another potential step forward in reducing employees’ risk to the debilitating effects of HAVS.”
HAVS, which is also known as Vibration White Finger, is 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. 300,000 people in the UK suffer from the condition, for which there is no known cure, only prevention.