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Cityfibre Trials Aim to Improve Safety for UK FTTH Builders

Friday, March 13th, 2020 (8:57 am) - Score 1,328

Cityfibre, which is currently deploying a 1Gbps FTTH broadband ISP network across the UK, has teamed up with one of their civil engineering partners, Callan Connect, to conduct the first tests on a live build site of a new British-made smart Glove that claims to prevent Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS or “White Finger“).

At present Cityfibre is planning to invest around £4bn to extend a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network across 8 million premises by the end of 2025 or later (i.e. it should be substantially completed by 2025 but the full build may continue on past this date), which is being supported by various ISP partners like Vodafone.

Obviously anybody who works in civil engineering knows that it can be a loud and physically laborious job. In particular some jobs can also create a lot of vibrations from machinery, especially when using powerful motorised tools (e.g. grinders, drills and concrete breakers). Such vibrations can cause damage to workers and result in HAVS (i.e. numbness, tingling, sensitivity, whiteness of fingertips and reduced grip strength).

Sadly damaged caused by HAVS is permanent, but the condition itself is preventable and that’s where the HAV Sentry Glove comes in handy. The glove, which is being developed by Coventry based start-up Feraru Dynamics, constantly monitors the vibrations created by heavy machinery when worn and warns operators when it reaches dangerous levels, so they know to take a break (allow time to recover).

Andrei Feraru, Founder and MD of Feraru Dynamics, said:

“We’re really excited to be trialling our technology with Callan Connect and CityFibre in our hometown of Coventry. Being able to test solutions at live construction environments provides us with invaluable insights into how well our technology is performing and whether further developments are required to deliver our mission to enhance safe working practices through innovation.”

The gloves are currently being tested by two of Callan Connect’s workers at sites across Cityfibre’s £60m Coventry build.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Avatar A_Builder

    It somewhat depends on the quality of the tools that you are using.

    The old air tools that required heavy trigger pressure and shook you apart are thankfully no longer sold. Doesn’t stop some subby buying them cheap on Ebay….

    The best way to deal with it with modern tools is to rotate tasks on a 20-30 mins basis and it is also best for backs as well.

    Some tools are locked out with an RFID tag and you can program them to only restart if a different valid tag is presented after the 20mins. Doesn’t stop the guys and girls swapping tags but if the tag is also used for clocking on/off there is more of an incentive for follow the rules on usage as the one thing I absolutely guarantee is they all want to get paid!

    The measuring of the HAVS should be in the tool, really. And when the limit is reached it should lock out – although I have not encountered that as yet.

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