Medical device company dorsaVi Ltd (ASX: DVL) has won the Design Innovation Award at the UK Rail Industry Awards last night, in recognition of its ViSafe workplace assessment project with Transport for London (TfL), the operator of the London Underground rail network.
TfL partnered dorsaVi in June 2015 in a workplace assessment program looking specifically at their emergency response workers and their fleet of emergency repair vehicles, which were due for replacement.
dorsaVi’s ViSafe wearable sensor technology was used to collect objective data about the manual handling requirements of the current trucks, which then was used to inform a cost/benefit analysis of purchasing new equipment to reduce the risk of worker injury in the design of the new trucks.
Work-related injury and illnesses have a major impact on the UK economy. It is estimated that 8.3 million days lost are due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), which make up 42% of all work-related illnesses. MSD can become chronic conditions, affecting long term health and quality of life for an individual, with significant cost implications for companies and insurers.
The ViSafe workplace assessment with TfL involved a number of miniature sensors being placed on Tube emergency response workers in their natural work environment to determine movement, posture, and associated muscle strain on workers’ lower back and shoulders. dorsaVi’s technology was able to confirm tasks associated with the highest risk, and provide recommendations to eliminate them in new equipment design.
Zoe Whyatt from dorsaVi Europe said: “The UK Rail Industry Awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the industry, and we are honoured to have been recognised for our ViSafe project with Transport for London. In this project ViSafe data has helped Transport for London to actually design out risk in the new Emergency Repair Vehicles. By investing now, before the ERVs are designed shows a real commitment to implementing strategies that will have a long term positive impact on the number, nature and severity of injuries as a result of this manual handing work.’’
“It’s great to see the transport sector embracing innovative technologies to reduce risk and improve productivity. We believe ViSafe represents the next wave of wearable technology that will deliver essential data to influence the way we work and ultimately reduce mounting workplace injury and occupational health and safety costs globally,” she concluded.
Sean Watters, Emergency Response Manager at London Underground, said: “Through our project with dorsaVi, we were able to objectively look at all of the pinch-points during our worker’s movements handling equipment in and out of our current ERVs. This showed us where the red flags were in terms of OHS risks and has provided invaluable data for designing our new fleet for optimal ergonomics. We look forward to continuing our work with dorsaVi.”