icare's wearable technologies study resumes

New pilot participants announced

icare's wearable technologies study resumes


By Terry Gangcuangco

Insurance and Care NSW (icare) has pushed the ‘resume’ button for its wearable technologies research.

The study, which had to be temporarily shelved because of COVID-19, is examining the potential of wearable technologies to assist with the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Funded by the icare Foundation, the research started out with its initial pilot earlier this year.

Timber cladding manufacturer Weathertex was the first to participate, trialling one of four wearable devices chosen for the study with 31 of its staff.

According to icare, the gathered information is currently being used to review and update safety practices within the manufacturer.

Now, with the resumption of the research, two new participants have been announced – EBOS Group and Gosford Hospital. The latter will see around 170 workers take part through icare’s partnership with NSW Health. Also, about 100 employees of healthcare products distributor EBOS Group are joining the pilot.

The device they are piloting provides real-time feedback whenever so-called “high-risk postures” – excessive bending, twisting, or reaching – are detected.

The goal of the undertaking is to evaluate whether wearable technology can add to a more holistic approach and help workplaces transform how they prevent work-related MSDs.

“By using technologies that offer employers better perspectives and insights into understanding how workers interact with their job demands, this study can help better examine the role of wearable technologies in the prevention of workplace injuries,” said icare prevention general manager Chris Harnett.

“If the study is successful, icare hopes NSW employers may consider the ongoing utilisation of these innovative wearable technologies to protect workers from musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.”

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