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Sodexo Australia teams up with dorsaVi to improve workplace safety


Perth, Wednesday 9 September, 2015 – Sodexo, global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, has turned to wearable sensor medical device company dorsaVi Ltd (ASX: DVL) to undertake assessments of their employees working in remote areas of Australia.

Sodexo employs more than 420,000 employees globally, with 4,000 based in Australia.  Sodexo delivers a unique array of integrated service lines including facilities management, food services, town services, concierge services, security, asset maintenance and hospitality services, operating in a range of segments including Mining, Oil & Gas, Corporate, Education and Aged Care.

Caring for worker health in remote areas

Sodexo will lease dorsaVi’s ViSafe™ technology to undertake its own testing and assessments of workers involved in manual handling activities and tasks, notably in remote sites in Australia. ViSafe is a wireless sensor technology that tracks and measures how people move in real-time work situations.  It is the first sophisticated wireless movement technology in the world and it was developed in Australia.

Johnpaul Dimech, CEO Sodexo, Australia, says: “Sodexo business and core mission is focused on quality of life. We work tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of our employees.

“Historically Sodexo has used traditional safety programs that predominantly aim to reduce and prevent trauma point in time injuries. But they are not as effective as we’d like in preventing occupational illness such as musculoskeletal disorders and sprain / strain injuries that can develop over time.

“On and offshore operations in remote parts of Australia present health and safety challenges for all our employees Partnering with dorsaVi provides Sodexo with a unique health promotion program to address musculoskeletal disorders.”

Wearable technology improves workplace safety and productivity

Mark Heaysman, Group OHS and Compliance Business Manager, dorsaVi, said: “This is the third and most significant project that dorsaVi has undertaken with Sodexo.

“Our technology offering and workplace solutions resonate with large employers like Sodexo because we offer objective, reliable and cost effective tools to tackle workplace safety. We will help Sodexo gain better understanding of the multiple factors that contribute to the onset of musculoskeletal disorders and sprain / strain injuries. 

“dorsaVi will analyse data, produce insights and recommend action points so that Sodexo can make informed responses. Notably, Sodexo has actioned a health promotion program for the prevention of sprain and strain injuries, using elements from similar sport science programs to enhance the performance of elite athletes and reduce sporting injuries.”

It is expected this initiative will lead to improvements in productivity, greater inclusion in the workplace, and drastically lower the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and prolonged occupational illness. This long-term and consultative approach is delivering industry thought leadership to the sector and will provide enormous value-add to Sodexo’s clients. 

About Sodexo in Australia:

Sodexo in Australia employs a diverse workforce of over 4,000 employees of which 192 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Sodexo delivers a unique array of over 100 integrated services lines
including: catering, facilities management, concierge services, security, and asset maintenance and hospitality services in the following segments: Corporate, Seniors, Education and Energy & Resources both on and off shore.

About Sodexo:

Founded in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organisational performance. Operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 75 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Through its more than 100 services, Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over more than 50 years of experience: from foodservices, reception, maintenance and cleaning, to facilities and equipment management; from Meal Pass, Gift Pass and Mobility Pass benefits for employees to in-home assistance and concierge services. Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business model and its ability to continuously develop and engage its 420,000 employees throughout the world.

To discover more about Sodexo, please visit www.sodexo.com.au  

About dorsaVi:

dorsaVi (ASX: DVL) is an ASX company focused on developing innovative motion analysis device technologies for use in elite sports, occupational health and safety, and clinical applications. dorsaVi believes its wearable sensor technology enables – for the first time – many aspects of detailed human movement and position to be accurately captured, quantified and assessed outside a biomechanics lab, in both real-time and real situations for up to 24 hours. In OHS dorsaVi combines innovation, measurement and quality to reduce workplace incidents, costs, meet compliance and improve brand reputation. ViSafe enables employers to assess risk of injury for employees as well as test the effectiveness of proposed changes to workplace design, equipment or methods based on objective evidence. ViSafe has been used by corporations including Coles, Woolworths, Toll, Toyota, Orora (formerly Amcor), Crown and BHP Billiton. Australian Workplace Compliance delivers risk mitigation through compliance to OHS, Quality Management Systems, Company Policy and Process.

Further information is available at www.dorsavi.com

Sodexo’s approach to preventing musculoskeletal injuries, sprains and strains includes dorsaVi’s ViSafe

Upon reviewing industry and company statistics it became evident to Sodexo that musculoskeletal disorders contributed significantly to the overall injury and illness outcomes, and that current measures were ineffective in preventing these injuries and illnesses. Australian Workers Compensation Statistics of Serious Claims for 2011-2012, 58.7% of serious claims in Australia were related to sprains, strains and work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Historically Sodexo has focused on delivering traditional safety programs. This included manual handling training and pre-start stretches that predominantly aim to reduce and prevent trauma point in time injuries, but were not necessarily effective in preventing occupational illnesses such as musculoskeletal disorders and sprain and strain injuries that develop over time. Sodexo decided to take a different approach to tackling these issues. The company undertook research to gain a better understanding of the multiple factors that contribute to the onset of musculoskeletal disorders, sprain and strain injuries. 

Sodexo developed a specific Health Promotion Program for the Prevention of Sprain and Strain Injuries and Work-Related Musculoskeletal disorders, to address these risk factors. The health improvement program utilises elements from similar sport science programs used to enhance elite athletes’ performance and reduce sporting injuries.   

The first step was to identify the three groups of risk factors:

1.     The individual risk factors: the factors that affect the physical health, fitness and ability of the individual to safely meet the work demands

2.     Biomechanical exposures: factors such as a poor ergonomically designed workplace and/or job design involving repetitive motion, high forces and poor ergonomic human movement.

3.     Work-related psychosocial factors: this relates to how an individual feels in the workplace. Perceived work pressures, low perceived social support, low perceived job control, high job demands and time pressure all impact on the mental wellbeing of workers and can affect their approach to safety. This underlines the link between mental health and physical wellbeing.

This led to the development of an all-new, four-phase program of activity to address these risk factors:

Phase 1 – Reviewed the Medical Process for New Appointments.

Sodexo looked at its pre-appointment processes for new employees to ensure that from the outset they were using the most up-to-date and robust assessment processes to assess that employees were capable of meeting the physical job demands without placing them at risk of injury.

Phase 2 – The iFit program – a 12 week individualised injury prevention program for existing workers.

Sodexo then considered the existing workforce and their ability to safely meet the job demands and developed a program that focused on the individual and their personal improvement – providing assessments that lead to physiotherapy treatments, individual conditioning programs and support services, and coaching in the work situation on ways to work safer and that helps reduce individual risk factors while assisting in developing better psychosocial outcomes. This program has been rolled out on five sites to date and there has already been a significant reduction in the risk of injury. 

Phase 3 – Take a scientific approach using bio-mechanic assessments to understand the Workplace as a risk factor

Sodexo partnered with dorsaVi to implement its ViSafe, a scientific program that uses sensors on the body and video to assess muscle activation and the ergonomics of human movement and to understand how tasks contribute to stress on the body and then measure which tasks are of a higher stress level. This then provided an input into risk mitigation strategies such as engineering and task redesign solutions and enabled validation of the effectiveness of controls measures.

Phase 4 – Re-design tasks to be more inclusive

Sodexo’s HSEQ team is now using the data from the ViSafe program, in collaboration with their internal LEAN project management team, specialist ergonomists and employee workgroups, to redesign tasks that deliver the most operationally efficient and safest outcome for workers. This is an innovative approach that matches multi-disciplinary teams to improve safety and business outcomes.