Finger vibration pioneer signs key deal Down Under

The device monitors in real time an individual's exposure to vibration when using power tools. Picture: Contributed
The device monitors in real time an individual's exposure to vibration when using power tools. Picture: Contributed
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An Edinburgh firm whose monitoring systems can reduce the damaging effects of vibration white finger is looking to make a big noise Down Under after inking a new distribution deal.

Reactec, which has become a UK market leader in monitoring and management platforms for exposure to hand arm vibration (HAV) from power tool use, has teamed up with JEA Tech to distribute its HAVwear system in Australia.

Launched in 2016, HAVwear is a wearable wrist device that monitors in real time an individual’s exposure to vibration when using power tools. An analytical platform provides cloud-based reporting, allowing risk assessment and exposure reduction to take place.

Jacqui McLauglin, chief executive of Reactec, said: “We are excited about our partnership with JEA Tech which is a respected innovative technology supplier in Australia. We see lots of opportunity for our award-winning HAVwear in this market.

“There is no cure for hand arm vibration syndrome [HAVS] but it is entirely preventable. It not only affects people physically but it can also be mentally debilitating causing anxiety, stress and fatigue that, if not dealt with, can remain with sufferers for a lifetime.”

Established in 2003, JEA is a major industry supplier of hardware technology in Australia and New Zealand. Its clients come from a range of industries including agriculture, rail, mining, construction, infrastructure, defence and manufacturing.

In 2016, JEA began looking for a technical solution to hand arm vibration – a known but unmonitored health issue within Australia. The condition is locally known as “jack hammer hands” as well as white finger and often misdiagnosed as carpel tunnel syndrome.

Data from Safework Australia shows that, since 2009, the equivalent of more than £70 million has been paid in compensation due to HAVS.

With billions of pounds worth of national and state infrastructure projects due to take place over the next ten to 15 years in Australia, the impact from losing skilled staff to a preventable long-term injury could be considerable.

Craig Kinder, from JEA Tech Australia, said: “It’s great for us at JEA Technologies to distribute and support Reactec HAVwear technology nationally in Australia.

“There is growing interest in the availability of the system from the forestry, construction, rail and mining sectors. Now companies in Australia can use the wearable device, access real-time analytics and on-site mobile app which gives management the ability to minimise and manage the exposure from the power tools used on the job.”

Since its launch, Reactec’s technology is in use by a number of major organisations in the UK, including British Airways, Murphy Group, Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty, the Environment Agency, Siemens and Babcock.