‘Smart’ gloves warn workers of vibration danger
Gloves embedded with tiny sensors have been developed to help protect workers from exposure to vibration.
The gloves, developed by Nottingham Trent University and spearheaded by Professor Tilak Dias of the School of Art & Design, include technology that aims to alert wearers when they experience vibrations likely to cause conditions such as vibration white finger and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Workers most at risk are those who regularly use power tools such as concrete breakers, sanders, grinders, hammer drills, chainsaws, hedge trimmers and powered mowers. According to the HSE, over the last decade more than 10,000 claims have been made for vibration white finger and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The sensors are only a few millimetres long
The gloves are currently being tested and appear like a normal pair of gloves to the naked eye and can be washed and worn without any damage to the technology.
Sensors to be tested as part of the research include vibration sensors, which are only two millimetres long, and accelerometers. They will be encapsulated in micro pods before being embedded into the yarns which are knitted into gloves.
When a dangerous level of exposure to vibrations is about to be experienced, a worker will be alerted to stop work.
Professor Dias, said: “Prolonged use of power tools can result in a variety of musculoskeletal, neurological and vascular disorders. But by using smart textiles, it could be possible to detect with accuracy when a worker is exposed to damaging levels of vibrations and help prevent such conditions occurring in the first place.”