Forth Ports Ltd has rolled out Reactec’s innovative wearable system to monitor the vibration exposure experienced by power tool users to reduce the risk of developing the incurable HAVS condition
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (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.
Forth Ports has acquired around 100 HAVwear watches, to upgrade its existing Reactec HAV management technology. HAVwear, is a wearable wrist worn device that determines in real-time an individual’s exposure to vibration during every day use of power tools which are used at the ports.
Forth Ports own and operate eight commercial ports in the UK - Tilbury (London), Grangemouth, Dundee, Leith, Rosyth, Methil, Burntisland and Kirkcaldy – and implements what it calls a ‘Safety F1rst’ culture at all levels across the business to protect employees, customers and visitors.
Forth Ports has its own in-house engineering teams to maintain port equipment including container cranes, straddles carriers, fork lift trucks, trailers, etc. The Reactec team supported the implementation of the HAVwear watches and provided onsite "train the traine"r sessions to allow instructions to be disseminated across the group. The tools used across the business range from small battery screwdrivers to impact wrenches, with grinders, hammer drills and many other tools in between.
Reactec’s analytical platform provides cloud-based reporting which allows dynamic risk assessment and exposure reduction. HAVwear has enjoyed significant sales since its launch in 2016 and is in use by a number of leading companies in the UK, including British Airways, Murphy Group, Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty, the Environment Agency, Siemens and Babcock. Reactec is targeting other industry sectors both in the UK and internationally.