Safety Tips Ergonomics Musculoskeletal disorders Safe lifting Warehouse safety

Exoskeletons: 5 safety tips

Photo: Boeing

Are you thinking of introducing exoskeletons into your workplace? They can aid workers in lifting heavy objects and carrying large loads, which reduces the risk of musculoskeletal-related injuries.

However, the technology must be used correctly to prevent injuries. The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation has five safety tips:

  1. Train workers on how to correctly operate the exoskeleton.
  2. Provide proper personal protective equipment. “This includes additional safety features that come with the exoskeleton, such as a safety belt, gloves or full-body harness,” DWC says.
  3. Adjust the exoskeleton to fit the worker. To create a custom fit, DWC says to:
    • Measure and record the size and shape of the worker’s body.
    • Add padding to the suit’s 
harness to reduce any pressure on the worker’s skin.
    • Ensure the suit doesn’t interfere with the worker’s movement by checking their range of motion.
    • Have the worker walk around while wearing the exoskeleton. Adjust the suit as needed.
  4. Don’t exceed the exoskeleton’s weight-bearing capacity. And use it only for its intended purpose and environment. “Avoid using the exoskeleton for jobs that put the user in repetitive movements or awkward positions.”
  5. Monitor for signs of heat-related illness, and take breaks when wearing an exoskeleton. “The metal components of exoskeletons will heat up during use, which could lead to heat stress. The added weight of the exoskeleton may also increase body temperature and strain.”

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