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Protecting masons and employers from HAVS

13 August 2010
The HAVmeter is magnetically attached to tools using a tool tag.

With strict legal limits on the level of vibration operators are allowed to be exposed to when using tools at work, and with more masons suing their employers for compensation when they suffer from hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), companies have been crying out for a simple method to monitor exposure levels to protect employees from HAVS and themselves from being sued.

Now you have it. It is the HAVmeter that was introduced to the minerals processing sector at the Hillhead exhibition in Derbyshire last month (June) by Reactec.

Jim O’Hagen has been appointed Managing Director of the new HAVmeter Division of Edinburgh-based Reactec and was on the stand to explain how the system works.

It has three elements: a ‘tool tag’ that is permanently fixed to the tool; a rechargeable HAVmeter magnetically attached to the tool tag while it is in use recording the level of vibration an individual operator is exposed to; and a card (the size of a credit card) with a magnetic strip on it that identifies each user.

The HAVmeter that accompanies the operator and is attached to the tool is activated when an operator swipes his card through a reader that is part of the holder of the units.

When the HAVmeter is returned to the holder at the end of the day the exposure level is automatically recorded and stored. It means masons no longer need to fear being exposed to illegal levels of vibration that can result in painful and debilitating HAVS and it could also provide valuable evidence in the case of a claim for compensation or a visit from the Health & Safety Executive.

Jim O’Hagen says there are already 170 customers using the HAVmeter, including some of the top construction companies. He says the cost of it works out to just 60p per operator per day over three years.

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