Hire industry takes note of HAVS

ONE of Europe’s leading hire and tool trade associations is expanding its focus on Hand Arm Vibration Management (HAVS) by enlisting the UK’s leading Hand Arm Vibration firm as one of its latest members.

The Hire Association Europe, whose membership encompasses companies from the tool, equipment and plant hire sectors, has been working closely with suppliers of HAVS risk management products to raise awareness of the importance of the condition to the industry.

Reactec Ltd, which specialises in the management of exposure to vibration from power tools, has now become a full member of the Hire Association Europe and is keen to use its membership to increase the information available on HAVS management.

The firm has developed the HAVmeter, a device which monitors worker’s exposure to vibration through the use of power tools. The HAVmeter system has already had measurable success in the tool hire industry and is currently in use by five of the top eight tool hire firms in the UK including: A-Plant, Brandon Hire, GAP, HSS, Speedy and WHC.

In the UK alone five million workers are exposed to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) more commonly known as vibration white finger and the irreversible condition can often have debilitating effects, including painful numbness and loss of feeling in the fingers.

Jim O’Hagan, managing director of Reactec, said: “We are delighted to have become a full member of the Hire Association Europe, the leading trade association in Europe.

“The HAVmeter serves a valuable purpose for the tool hire industry, helping employers and employees monitor and control the exposure to HAVS as well as ensuring firms are well educated in preventative measures and means of continual monitoring.

“We are keen to use our membership with HAE in the most positive way and hope it will help us to make HAVS management higher on the list of issues within the tool hire industry. It also allows us to further raise the benefits of our solution across the UK and Europe.

“We look forward to working with the HAE and hope that our relationship will help continue to raise awareness of the importance of vibration health and safety.”

As well as providing employers and employees with valuable and accurate data relating to vibration exposure levels, the HAVmeter also optimises employee working practices and promotes tool utilisation and servicing intervals – making it one of the leading health and safety devices in the tool hire industry.

The Hire Association Europe formed as a trade association in 1974 and now represents over 1000 member companies, operating over 3000 hire and rental outlets.

HAVmeter is the UK’s leading system for monitoring vibration exposure and, in addition to being offered by major tool hire firms, it is used by many of the country’s biggest construction, rail, ground maintenance, manufacturing and public service companies – including Balfour Beatty, Tubelines, The Crown Estate, Aston Martin and Norfolk County Council.

Under the system, every employee is issued with an individual HAVmeter monitor that records their exposure from hand held tools and other vibrating equipment in order to keep them within the limits set by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

More information about the HAVmeter can be found on the website www.reactec.com/havmeter

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