This morning SEAT inaugurated its new Health Care and Rehabilitation Centre (CARS), which is located in the Martorell factory and wholly dedicated to workers’ health and well-being. The company has set up pioneering facilities in healthcare, preventive and rehabilitation medicine, where a team of 25 professionals specialising in fields such as traumatology, cardiology and gynaecology, among others, will offer personalised services to the company’s more than 14,500 workers.

One of the most unique facilities featured in CARS is a biomechanical laboratory equipped with high technology, where more than 20 cameras process workers’ musculoskeletal characteristics in 3D, with the aim of perfectly adapting the ergonomics of each job requirement. These scans will be used in the design stage of workstations and also to prevent pathologies related to the production process as well as help improve rehabilitation in the event of injuries.

In addition, CARS features facilities for the diagnosis and prevention of several pathologies, where for example the company’s over 3,000 female employees can go for gynaecological examinations for the early detection of breast and cervical cancer. The rehabilitation and fitness rooms offer training programmes based on the systems used by the US marine’s submarine division, with exercises designed to work against the body’s own weight to develop core body strength. CARS professionals will adapt these programmes to each individual based on their clinical history and job requirements.

With an extension of 1,300 square metres, the CARS building was built following parameters of sustainability and efficiency, earning it the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certificate. There are only 8 other health centres in the world that have this certification, and CARS in the only one in the European Union.

Official inauguration

Spanish Health minister Dolors Montserrat inaugurates these unique in-company facilities in Spain, where SEAT has invested 3.3 million euros.

Following an investment by the company of 3.3 million euros, the centre was inaugurated this morning during a ceremony conducted by the Spanish minister of Health, Social Affairs and Equality Dolors Montserrat, and the Catalan Government minister of Health Antoni Comín, accompanied by SEAT President Luca de Meo and the Vice-president for Human Resources Xavier Ros.

According to Luca de Meo, “putting CARS into operation is a milestone in our commitment to being a healthy company, and it will have a positive impact not only on our workers but on the entire territory”. Furthermore, Xavier Ros underscored that “we aim to look after our workers in a comprehensive manner. With the additional services offered by CARS, we will provide the entire workforce with treatment for medical conditions, preventive services and well-being which will have a positive bearing on a better quality of life”.

In this sense, minister Montserrat highlighted “the importance of public administrations and companies working together on prevention and on promoting healthy habits, to improve the health of workers and of society as a whole”. Furthermore, minister Comín underscored that “not only has SEAT become a benchmark of a 'Healthy Company', but it is also a standard bearer in promoting good health. CARS is going to imply a crucial cultural change across industry”.

Healthy Company Scientific Committee

During the presentation of CARS, the company announced the creation of the Healthy Company Scientific Committee, a commission of experts who will analyse aspects related to health, well-being and quality of life in the company. The goal of the Committee will be to periodically study the best practices from all over the world and propose specific measures to promote the health of workers, taking into account aspects such as nutrition, cellular aging, mental health and the effect of the intestinal microbiome on well-being of the population, among others.

The Committee will be presided by Xavier Ros and include Dr. Bonaventura Clotet as an honorary member. Dr. Clotet is the director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital in Badalona (Barcelona) and recognised worldwide in the field of AIDS and cancer research. He will help SEAT to constitute this Committee, which will hold its first meeting at the end of May.

Dr. Clotet will also represent SEAT at several national and international health related forums and will collaborate with the company’s medical team in research into cellular aging, healthy nutrition and the relationship between health and the intestinal microbiome, among others. “The company has a world-class preventive medicine unit geared towards improving the quality of life of its employees. This is the future of occupational health”, assured the new brand ambassador.

SEAT and pioneering health services

“The company has a world-class preventive medicine unit geared towards improving the quality of life of its employees. This is the future of occupational health”.

CARS will offer services of traumatology, diagnostic imaging, gynaecology, cardiology, mental health, biomechanics, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, as well as adapted fitness programmes. These services are available to workers following an initial assessment in any of the company’s ten medical centres.

The CARS medical team is made up of 25 professionals including Toni Bové, physiotherapist of the FC Barcelona basketball squad and of the Spanish Olympic Committee at the last nine Olympic Games; Dr. Sandra Pujadas, collaborating cardiologist at the Hospital de Sant Pau and the Clínica Teknon, and Dr. Emmanuel de Sostoa, a specialist in Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the Hospital de Sant Pau and founder of the Spanish Society of Prenatal Diagnosis, among others. They will all attend over 50,000 patient appointments every year.

SEAT has a team of 54 health professionals on its staff in charge of occupational health and safety, including occupational health physicians and nurses, cardiologists and traumatologists, as well as prevention technicians, who perform roughly 12,000 examinations every year in the company’s ten medical centres and evaluate workplace related risks. The company also has two internal ambulances and an emergency medical team on hand 24/7, 365 days a year.

Thanks to these services, among other factors, SEAT has achieved its “Healthy Workplace” certification and is the only company in the automotive sector in Spain with this recognition. The certificate, which in Spain is given by AENOR, is fostered internationally by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and takes into account the promotion and protection of health, safety and well-being in the workplace.