One of the top 20 building contractors; Willmott Dixon is trialing the exoskeleton vest for construction workers, developed by US-based robotics company Ekso Bionics to help reduce the exertion of lifting that construction workers face; ultimately extending working lives. The exoskeleton has also been tested by a leading vegetable growing and packing company and has proved to be successful.
The upper body vest supports workers’ arms when lifted above chest height, transferring the strain usually imposed on the shoulders, back and upper arms to the legs to reduce fatigue and injury risk.
The Cardiff trial is focusing on tasks where workers spend much of the day with their arms raised, such as installing dry lining or ceiling tiles. “One worker said that he could feel it making a difference within an hour,” Townsend said.
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