Reactec unveils new wearable tech aiming to 'revolutionise' health and safety in construction and heavy engineering

Workplace health risk prevention specialist Reactec says efforts to protect industrial workers have taken a massive step forward with its launch of the “next generation” of wearable technology.

The Edinburgh-based firm says its third-generation R-Link watch actively protects wearers from exposure to risks including hand arm vibration (HAV) and getting too close to dangerous, fixed or moving vehicles and equipment in use – and is set to “revolutionise” health and safety in construction and heavy engineering.

Reactec said the device incorporates the very latest sensor and communications technology, has been designed for reliability and ease of deployment in the toughest environments and industries, and helps deliver an “unprecedented” view of an employee’s environment to allow bosses to prevent risk in the workplace.

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It added that the new offering provides real-time alerts to notify workers of unsafe situations while data collated and automatically transmitted to the cloud-based Reactec Analytics platform on exposure risks and near misses become a strong source of intelligence to inform the creation of safer work environments.

R-Link will be released to the market this month with an ability to manage HAV exposure and near misses within exclusion zones. Over the next 12 months the same hardware will be enabled with functionality to support and create geofenced areas, lone worker support, employee messaging, evacuation and mustering and monitoring of upper arm musculoskeletal disorders.

Reactec says death and accidents caused by being struck by a moving industrial vehicle are still “unacceptably” frequent and remain a high priority for the construction industry, with the firm citing the findings that in 2021 there were 25 such deaths and 5,121 related non-fatal injuries.

The firm also said tool hire company Speedy has already signed up to introduce R-Link into its hire fleet. The latter company’s supply chain director Andy Connor said: “Having worked with Reactec from its very original technology in 2008, we are very keen to offer its very latest development R-Link to our client base.”

Reactec says the new offering is set to 'revolutionise health and safety in construction and heavy engineering'. Picture: Peter Devlin.

Impressed

Another long-standing customer of Reactec and early adopter of R-Link is Keltbray. Paul Deacy from the engineering and construction giant said: “Initially, we will replace 500 from our HAVwear fleet with the new R-Link wearable. Once everyone is familiar with the new device, we will begin evaluating the functionality for proximity.”

Reactec chief executive Jacqui McLaughlin said the firm is “proud” to continue its work as an innovator in workplace health and safety. “Technology is revolutionising so much of our everyday lives, and we want to make sure that safety and equally health in the workplace also benefit.

“Major clients such as Keltbray have used our unique combination of workplace wearables and cloud-based analytics to actively prevent health risks for their employees for some time, and together we are confident that R-Link offers a major expansion on this concept. Once again, we are pleased to be working with Speedy to ensure the watch is the preferred model available for hire.”

The launch follows the firm in May announcing a partnership to help companies tackle noise-related hearing loss in the workplace. Additionally, in 2020 and in response to Covid-19, it debuted functionality to help maintain physical distancing among workers.