In a study by one of the UK’s most respected occupational health and safety organisations, data from Edinburgh-based Reactec’s innovative wearable monitoring technology for Hand Arm Vibration* has been independently validated.
HAVwear, a wearable wrist device that determines in real time an individual’s exposure to vibration during every day use of power tools, was independently tested in a study by the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM). The study, commissioned by Reactec, was led by Sheila Groat, Head of Health and Safety Services, and concluded that vibration data readily gathered by the HAVwear system during every day tool use provides a useful source of information to inform a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. Also the information gathered by the HAVwear system on a regular basis does inform the development of risk reduction control measures.
IOM conducted a rigorous review of Reactec’s award winning HAVwear system to assess its credibility as a risk assessment tool and whether the information obtained could support an effective HAV risk reduction programme.
The study shows that while the HAVwear system determines vibration magnitude data from the vibration transmitted to the person and not ‘on the tool’ in accordance with the existing standard BS EN ISO 5349-1: 2001, HAVwear DOES provide a range of vibration magnitude comparable with that produced by conventional methods.
The study confirms:
- HAVwear provides information comparable to that produced by conventional tool measurement techniques;
- The potential advantage of HAVwear over conventional means of risk assessment in being able to be more representative of the actual tool use than, for example, the use of trigger times and manufacturers’ data;
- HAVwear may also better reflect changes in tool use (or tool condition) over time than other approaches involving only limited measurements;
- HAVwear offers a simple mechanism where assessment of exposure, and changes in exposure, can be readily monitored over extended periods of time.
Reactec’s HAVwear practically monitors and gathers data based on the vibration exposure actually experienced by the tool / equipment user. The IOM study’s validation gives credibility to Reactec’s belief that their two million real use data records generated by the system over the past two years since its launch, are significant to individual organisations and potentially, in an anonymised aggregated manner, to industry bodies as a means of addressing the risk of developing the incurable and debilitating HAVS disease.