Edinburgh-based workplace safety firm Reactec expands reach into tackling noise with new partnership

Edinburgh-based Reactec, which specialises in workplace safety technology, has announced a partnership billed as a “major step forward” in helping companies tackle noise-related hearing loss in the workplace.

The Scottish business has teamed up with Norway-based hearing protection tech specialist Minuendo, which has developed a “revolutionary” ear plug called Smart Alert that it is claimed provides protection from noise but also monitors the level of noise entering the ear.

Additionally, the device is described as informing a user in real time of their noise exposure, based on monitoring, and warns them if they are inadequately protected against that.

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The Edinburgh-based firm stated that its collaboration with Minuendo allows companies to access the data from the Smart Alert device automatically in the Reactec Analytics platform and to align noise exposure with the other data Reactec collects.

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Reactec said it uses industrial-grade wearables and cloud-based data analytics to address exposure to risks such as hand arm vibration – a major industrial-related medical condition also known as vibration white finger that can be caused by the use of power tools – as well as dust, hazardous areas, lone working, and now noise. Additionally, in 2020 and in response to Covid-19 it debuted functionality to help maintain physical distancing among workers.

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It explained that with the integrated Smart Alert noise device, companies can actively protect the health and wellbeing of individual workers by engineering out risk – adding that in many sectors, such as manufacturing, engineering and construction, workers are exposed to noise that frequently surpasses normal or safe levels and durations.

More specifically, Reactec cited data from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive showing that more than 2 million workers are exposed to levels of noise that put their hearing at risk, with 17 per cent suffering hearing loss, tinnitus or other related conditions as a result of exposure to excessive noise at work.

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The offering means 'safety managers can gain unparalleled insights to help identify those most at risk, so that timely interventions can be made'. Picture: contributed.

Complementary

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Reactec chief executive Jacqui McLaughlin said: “Our collaboration with Minuendo is exciting and is fully complementary with our existing workplace wearables technology that is all designed to help prevent harm, not just respond to issues afterwards.

“We know that traditional [personal protective equipment] does not provide information about an individual’s level of protection or exposure to noise and now, armed with Smart Alert and Reactec’s cloud-based analytics, companies can actively protect the health and wellbeing of their workforce.”

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Neal Muggleton, chief operating officer of Minuendo, also commented: “Passive protection methods do not help safety managers and employers to tackle the problem of hearing loss in the workplace. By contrast, our new Smart Alert solution is proactive: giving employees warnings and updates on their exposure, alerting safety managers to any issues, and giving employers a total record of each employee’s noise exposure over time.

“By combining the noise exposure data gathered by Smart Alert with other criteria through the Reactec platform, safety managers can gain unparalleled insights to help identify those most at risk, so that timely interventions can be made. This is a major step forward in tackling noise-related hearing loss in the workplace.”

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