The Reactec team, welcomed HRH The Princess Royal to their head office in Edinburgh to showcase the innovative social distancing technology – SAFE-DISTANCE* – that the company developed in record time in May 2020 to help businesses work safely through the pandemic.
Her Royal Highness met with Reactec’s Chair Iain Mackay, CEO Jacqui McLaughlin and her innovation team to hear how their technical experts repurposed their existing HAVWEAR system – designed to monitor hand-arm vibration in the workplace – to function as a social distancing tool in just 15 days. SAFE-DISTANCE enables employers to manage social distancing of their workforces and where needed contact trace close contacts within construction, rail, manufacturing and many other workplaces.
The company provided over 10,000 devices across the UK including around 900 to the construction team working on the Thames Tideway Tunnel and the NHS warehousing team in Scotland.
HRH The Princess Royal was given a tour of the innovation workshop where Reactec’s technology was demonstrated. Her Royal Highness was also invited to unveil a commemorative plaque as part of her visit and she met with Sarah Hardy from Reactec’s funders Archangels and Kerry Sharp, Director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise.
Commenting on the visit from HRH The Princess Royal, Jacqui McLaughlin, CEO of Reactec, said: “We were privileged to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to our offices. We are extremely proud of the efforts our team put in at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that people could get back to work safely. In just 15 days we repurposed our technology to help businesses to ensure that their teams were socially distancing and staying safe in the workplace.
“We are constantly innovating and our priority in everything we do at Reactec is to prevent a health risk in the workplace. We are already committed to helping reduce the damage to workers’ health from exposure to vibration, noise and dust and are developing technology to increase safety around dangerous plant and machinery.”
*SAFE-DISTANCE was developed in 2020 by technical experts at Reactec – which is backed by Scottish business angel syndicate, Archangels, and Scottish Enterprise – as a direct response to the COVID-19 crisis and the Scottish and UK Government’s introduction of social distancing protocols. Recognising that the company had a significant deployment of its existing hardware within its customer base, Reactec mobilised its innovation team to repurpose its product offering. Development work that would normally take months was completed in 15 days, allowing Reactec to test and launch the product in record time. The SAFE-DISTANCE technology works by using Bluetooth enabled Reactec devices to detect other Reactec devices within a two-metre range. Should users become closer than two metres apart, both device users are warned with both vibration and audio alerts.
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