Roy Hill backs research to reduce injury risks

Trial at Roy Hill mine site. Image: Soter Analytics

Roy Hill has supported research that guided the development of technology to measure and assess the risk of musculoskeletal injuries (MSK) in resource industry workers, an injury that is most common and costly to manage.

Safe Work Australia estimates lost productivity can cost a company up to $8200 a year per employee on average.

A company with a 5000-person workforce could spend up to $41 million in injury compensation alone.

The technology, which was developed by Soter Analytics, consists of a wearable sensor and accompanying app collectively known as SoterSpine solution.

The wearable sensor uses algorithms to measure patterns of movement and load bearing that contribute to potential MSK injury.

The sensor warns the worker immediately if they are at increased risk of MSK injury, and coaches them on techniques to reduce risk.

This research, co-sponsored by Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), enabled demonstration of proof of concept in a working environment.

“The SoterSpine technology provides an organisation valuable insight into the risk profile of their entire workforce, allowing them to continuously improve their health and safety mechanisms and protect their workers from injury,” MRIWA chief executive Nicole Roocke said.

“Although trialled in the iron ore industry, it is expected that this technology will be applicable to the wider Western Australian resource industries.”

The SoterSpine has been on the market for more than 12 months and is being used by multiple resource organisations across the country, according to Soter Analytics co-researcher Matthew Hart.

Over 5000 workers across the logistics, airlines, retail and construction industries in the United States, the United Kingdom and in Australia are also using the technology, Hart continued.