In what is believed to be a first for the building products industry in the UK, Forterra has invested tens of thousands of pounds in new vibration monitoring devices to help protect employees from the risk of excessive exposure to Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS), also known as Vibration White Finger.
The company has spent nearly £50,000 ($89,467 AUD) on HAVwear devices, plus supporting equipment, from UK firm Reatec, to be used by up to 400 employees, predominantly in the Bison Precast division and block manufacturing facilities at Hams Hall and Newbury.
Here is what Forterra's Head of Health & Safety had to say about the adoption of HAVwear safety devices; “We are one of the first companies in our sector to introduce this system of vibration monitoring for our workforce. As well as helping to monitor safe vibration levels, this new equipment and technology will also save us time and money in how we record and monitor vibration levels in future.”
A little perspective on the effect of HAVs on workers in the UK: "It is estimated that up to 2 million UK workers are exposed to high levels of HAVS, a condition for which there is no cure, only prevention. 300,000 people in the UK have advanced stages of the condition, which can develop after just six months. According to research carried out in 2012, 50% of all occupational industry diseases are HAVS-related." This information was supplied by the UK Medical Research Council.
You can read the full news brief from Forterra here.
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