A SCOTS tech firm has created a system to aid employers in monitoring and maintaining social distancing within their workforces.

Edinburgh-based Reactec has repurposed its Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) monitors, a wrist device that monitors an individual’s exposure to vibration when using power tools, to create Safedistance.

The system will alerts workers if they are within two metres of a colleague, and can assist with contact tracing for those who have displayed Covid-19 symptoms.

There are more than 45,000 HAV monitors already in circulation in the UK - but Reactec is offering to enable these devices remotely by adding the new software free of charge, meaning existing clients can ensure safe distancing while continuing to protect workers from harmful vibration.

The technology works by using Bluetooth-enabled devices to detect other Reactec devices within a two-metre range.

If users were to become closer than two metres apart, both are warned with vibration and audio alerts.

Jacqui McLaughlin, CEO of Reactec, said: “Social distancing will clearly be with us for some time and it’s vital that when people get back to work they can do so safely.

“Our team has moved quickly to repurpose our technology to help businesses to ensure that their teams are working safely.

“Reactec is already dedicated to helping reduce the damage to workers’ health from exposure to vibration, so developing our technology to include social distancing was a logical next step in response to Covid-19.

“We want to play our part in getting everyone back to work safely and with confidence.”

Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, said: “In response to this pandemic, companies right across Scotland have been diversifying production lines, increasing capacity or exploring new distribution routes to help deliver what is needed, when it’s needed.

“Technology is going to play a crucial role in helping us overcome the long-term challenges presented by Covid-19, so it is great to see innovative, dynamic companies repurposing existing technology to help us protect workers from potential exposure in the future.”