Exoskeletons Are the Wave of the Future in the Construction IndustryAugust 21, 2018
Musculoskeletal injuries are among the most common injuries that construction workers suffer from, primarily due to heavy lifting. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction workers have some of the highest rates of musculoskeletal injuries per capita.
One solution to this problem is the use of exoskeletons, or exosuits, which are robotic-looking metal frameworks that mimic the wearer’s internal skeletal structure. While this may sound like something from a science-fiction movie, the motorized muscles that are fitted into the exosuit’s framework essentially multiply the user’s strength, making heavy objects feel much lighter. As a result, workers are less prone to injuries.
In addition to reducing the number of injuries related to heavy lifting, exoskeletons help maximize productivity while performing certain repetitive tasks like squatting, bending, and walking.
There are two types of exoskeletons. Passive models do not use actuators, motors, or batteries to help lift or haul an item. Active models use actuators to perform these tasks.
Examples of Exoskeletons Used by Construction Workers
In addition to the full body exosuit, there are a range of smaller, more specialized exoskeletons that can improve productivity and help workers avoid a range of injuries.
The following are examples of some of the exoskeletons that are being used at construction sites today:
- Mounted Arm Exosuit: These are made up of a spring-loaded arm on one end, which is connected to a lower-body exoskeleton. The arm can grip a heavy tool and the weight of the tool is transmitted to the ground. These help workers complete jobs faster, using less energy, resulting in superior workmanship.
- Back Support Exosuit: These offer back support for workers who perform repetitive bending and lifting motions. They reduce the stress on the back muscles and help reduce repetitive stress injuries by maintaining proper lifting techniques and posture.
- Arm Support Limb: This provides shoulder and arm support, as well as a headrest, which alleviates the strain of lifting heavy tools above waist level. The ergonomic design makes objects feel lighter than they are, which enables workers to operate the tool without fatigue.
- Crouching and Standing Support: These lightweight exoskeletons provide the support of a chair, while allowing the worker to move freely, stand, or crouch. They help reduce repetitive stress and muscular injuries.
- Whole-Body Suits: Full body powered exoskeletons provide workers with added support and strength to the arms, legs, back, and shoulders.
While the technology is still relatively new to the construction industry, the use of exoskeletons can drastically reduce the number of workplace injuries and the costs associated with them. In addition, the range of exoskeletons allows workers to be more efficient and productive by using the device that is best suited for the task at hand.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Workplace Injuries
If you have suffered a repetitive stress injury or a musculoskeletal injury at work caused by heavy lifting, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to secure the maximum financial benefits you deserve. We will not stop fighting for you until we have your complete satisfaction. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.