Technology

Health risk monitors repurposed for site social distancing

15 May 2020

Edinburgh-based Reactec is helping returning construction staff to manage social distancing with a device that alerts them if they have strayed within two metres of a colleague.

The firm has created a system called “Safedistance”, based on an industrial wrist-worn product, originally designed to monitor workers’ exposure to health risks such as hand arm vibration.

It also informs employers of the frequency and severity of breaches of social distancing protocols and can be used to help with contact tracing of those who have been close to employees who subsequently display Covid-19 symptoms.

More than 45,000 of Reactec’s Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) monitor, HAVwear, on which Safedistance is based, are already in circulation in the UK. Reactec is offering to enable these devices remotely by adding the safe distancing software free – meaning that its existing clients can ensure safe distancing of employees while also continuing to protect them from harmful vibration.

The Safedistance technology works by using Bluetooth-enabled Reactec devices to detect other Reactec devices within a two-metre range. Should users become closer than two metres apart, both device users are warned with both vibration and audio alerts.

The device is returned to its recharging docking station at the end of each shift, at which point details of any safe distancing breaches are uploaded to the cloud and combined with other data to produce employer reports to assist in the management of social distancing.

Jacqui McLaughlin, CEO of Reactec, said: “Social distancing will clearly be with us for some time and it’s vital that when people get back to work they can do so safely. Our team has moved quickly to repurpose our technology to help businesses to ensure that their teams are working safely. 

“Reactec, is already dedicated to helping reduce the damage to workers’ health from exposure to vibration, so developing our technology to include social distancing was a logical next step in response to Covid-19. We want to play our part in getting everyone back to work safely and with confidence.”

Paul Deacy, managing director, demolitions and civils, at London-based specialist Keltbray said: “Keltbray already uses HAVwear as it’s a robust product and the analytics reporting with its automation and GDPR compliance are critical factors to Keltbray providing actionable intelligence.

“So when Reactec approached us to trial the new social distance functionality we already had confidence in the product. Keltbray is encouraged by this new offering. This could truly assist us in managing social distancing across our projects.”