We are living in a world where technological advancement is making significant breakthroughs. Just imagine, 20-30 years back nobody had cell phones - we were still using the cord phones - and not every house had a personal computer. Only on 12th August 1981, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC, The IBM Personal Computer model 5150 was released. But technology is taking larger and larger strides every day.
The 2018 Q4 Commercial Construction Index noted that 23% of contractors believe they will adopt wearable technology onsite in the next three years. Nearly ¾ of contractors believe wearable technology will improve onsite safety and more than 1 in 3 contractors believe wearable technology can improve labor productivity.
Protective exoskeletons are not yet mainstream but they are a growing trend in the construction industry and they are mentioned as one of the exciting techs to be on the lookout for the year 2020. They are part of the wave of the future in construction-tech. These robotic exoskeletons, also known as exosuits, mimic the human skeleton and enhance the strength of the user. Lifting weights is a piece of cake but that is not the only benefit of having them on your construction site. The usage of the exosuits reduced work injuries - Ford Motor Company used it in 2011 and since then, the number of work injuries reported in units that use the exoskeleton has dropped by 83%! The Ford ergonomics expert notes that when they do happen, the shoulders are the ones mostly affected - shoulder surgeries are the most expensive orthopedic operations.
There are many people that are not able to work, due to diverse disabilities. Having a full (or even partial) exoskeleton will allow those people to consider a job opportunity again. People that now do not stand a chance to have a job in construction may have a chance of joining it. As you know, most people when thinking of construction workers, imagine solid, well built men, (muscles being a must). Having a full-body skeleton will allow almost anyone to be able to work on a construction site!
The best option for construction sites and your employees is to get full-body exosuits, but those are still a pain for the employee’s wallets. Also, the exosuits can be split between mechanical VS. electrical exoskeletons - redistributing weight VS. enhancing strength (much heavier than the mechanical ones). As an alternative, here are a couple of other options you could use:
Back support exoskeletons - making sure the position of your employees is proper while lifting and handling heavy items. Proper posture is always key; else back injury can easily occur - bending the knees and squatting is a must.
Arm support limbs - make sure extra aid is granted when lifting heavy tools or heavy items, in general. They are great for employees that have such repetitive tasks that require great strength from the limbs.
Mounted arm exosuits - spring-loaded arms allowing the employees to carry heavy tools, with the tool’s weight transmitted to the ground. Tasks can be completed so much quicker with their help!
The technology is here, now, so why not use it to our benefit? Learn more about the Pro’s and Con’s of using exoskeletons next week and let us know what you think about this new trend!