Company behind wearable technology for workplace injury prevention teams up with Monash Health to reduce injuries among nurses

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Photo: SafetyCulture Library

Musculoskeletal injuries from overexertion in healthcare occupations is among the highest of any profession in the world. Manual lifting and other patient handling tasks can result to work-related back injuries.

Most of the patient handling in healthcare settings is being performed by nurses and nursing aids.

In a study conducted at an Australian hospital, 40.1 percent of the nurses surveyed reported an injury associated with manual handling activity, and of those, 75.9 percent comprised back injury.

Monash Health, one of Victoria’s largest health service providers understand the importance of ensuring the safety if its nursing staff. In order to minimise the health impact of workplace manual handling, Monash Health is working with dorsaVi, a medical device company which developed ViSafe to implement successful, innovative and measurable changes to its current OHS model, while delivering a methodology to support the other suppliers and activities involved in these changes.

This strategy is a three-way commercial arrangement between Monash Health, global workplace insurer Allianz and dorsaVi.

dorsaVi’s ViSafe workplace solutions monitors and assesses movement and muscle activity, helping workers optimise their physical work to prevent injury. The device monitors workers to provide an assessment of the movement of their lower back, shoulder elevation and relevant muscle activity.

Monash Health Head of Workplace Health and Safety, Kim Flanagan said they are keen at looking for ways to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries among their nursing staff.

“Manual handling is common place for our nursing and care staff, and we have always sought new initiatives to reduce the physical burden of their work. For the first time, we are able to assess manual activities in which we can intervene or change, through insights from real-time, accurate data that can help us make the right decisions for our employees.”

dorsaVi Group OHS and Compliance Business Manager, Mark Heaysman said they are pleased to continue working with Monash Health in reducing musculoskeletal injuries among healthcare workers.

“We welcome the opportunity to continue our relationship with Monash Health. As an employer of over 15,000 health services workers, they are one of the largest specialist teams and are leading the healthcare industry in addressing the physical stresses of the manual work they carry out with many of their patients,” said Mr Heaysman.

“We have worked closely over the last 18 months with both Monash Health and Allianz to provide comprehensive data analysis to inform important initiatives to a business that has a large manual handling element to its work. As a result, Monash Health is creating a workplace that is leading the world in adopting an innovative and technology driven intervention to workplace injury.”

The ViSafe solution uses wearable technology, sensors and mobile app technology to help organisations monitor and analyse the movement of their workers so that they can assess and manage risk. It has wearable sensors, similar to the size of a small USB thumb drive that attach to any part of a person’s body to objectively measure human movement, assess the level of risk associated with that movement and turn it into actionable data.

Dr Andrew Ronchi, dorsaVi Chief Executive Officer says, “ViSafe and dorsaVi Workplace Solutions offers unique insights as to where higher risk areas exist in occupational environments. It is essential to have worker’s safety at the forefront of every step we take in ensuring Monash Health is able to create a safer workplace.”

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