The Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) has validated wearable technology for monitoring hand arm vibration (HAV). The device, known as ‘HAVwear’ was developed by Reactec, a specialist provider of HAV monitoring devices.

When an individual uses a power tool and the device is worn on their wrist, it will determine the exposure to vibration in real time; HAVwear is supported by a platform that provides cloud-based reporting, allowing dynamic risk assessment and exposure reduction.

According to Reactec, the IOM study concluded that vibration data gathered by the HAVwear system during everyday tool use provides a useful source of information to inform a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. Other findings from the IMO research, Reactec reports, include that the technology:

  • helps with the development of risk reduction control measures
  • 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
  • provides information comparable to that produced by conventional tool measurement techniques

The Health and Safety Executive states that 300,000 people in the UK suffer from HAVS (hand arm vibration syndrome) with a further two million at risk.

Read our SpecFinish article from November 2016: How to manage hand and arm vibration syndrome in construction