Anglican Care has won the WHS Innovation category at the Hunter Safety Awards, pipping contenders from the mining and industrial sectors to the podium for their innovative approach to overcoming workplace manual handling injuries through the use of wearable sensor technology.
In conjunction with biotechnology company dorsaVi, Anglican Care conducted an objective and quantitative overview of the physical demands on laundry and hospitality staff using their state-of-the-art analysis equipment.
The wearable sensors sent real-time data at 200 frames per second to a computer where the software would accurately assess how each task was being performed.
dorsaVi engaged in structured discussions and brainstorming sessions with Anglican Care’s Work Health and Safety Officer, Human Resources Manager and the Operations Team, along with expert advice from Allied Health Professionals, Compliance Managers and their Materials Handling and Engineering departments.
In collaboration, they were able to pinpoint the highest risk elements, and formulate interventions for trial and re-test.
The data identified that loading and unloading of industrial washing machines and food trays from trolleys, waste removal and movement of cleaning equipment were the most ‘at risk’ tasks.
Each were found to have elements of repetitive spinal flexion, sustained elevation and internal rotation of the shoulder.
Anglican Care CEO, Mr Colin Osborne, said he was delighted Anglican Care’s WHS team had been recognised for their invaluable commitment to reducing workplace injuries.
“This award is recognition of the incredible talents and dedication of our WHS team, who have worked tirelessly to reduce injuries in our organisation.
“The safety of our employees is always our priority, so we are pleased to have found an approach to safety that really delivers results,” Mr Osborne said.
With the success of the first project evident, Anglican Care have since engaged dorsaVi for further risk management assistance, and baseline studies on Care Staff have now been collected.
They now plan to review this data and follow similar practices to the initial study, whilst continuing to rollout successful interventions across the organisation.