Hilti has launched a new and improved version of its innovative wearable EXO-O1 skeleton, the EXO-S, offering relief for above shoulder level tasks and with broad suitability across many applications. Designed and produced in conjunction with Ottobock Industrials, the updated skeleton features an even more inclusive design able to fit a more diverse range of bodies, with additional support and comfort.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are a significant cause of health problems in the workplace, accounting for some 60% of all workplace health issues within the European Union. In construction, these are an even more pressing problem, with daily tasks including repetitive overhead and over shoulder jobs, leading to an increased risk of injuries, time off and a lack of productivity, and sometimes early retirement.
“Research shows us that the average time off work from MSDs is around 3 weeks, with many impacted taking early retirement, impacting their own finances as well as the productivity of companies they work for. With a new generation of construction workers more aware of risks and unprepared to forfeit their own health, companies are also now in a position where they are expected to make provisions to prevent injuries from repetitive strain,” highlights Hilti.
Risk factors on a jobsite split into 4 broad categories – the task at hand (does the task require repetitive movements), the individual (age, gender, physical capabilities, etc), the load being dealt with, and the general environment – this could refer to poor lighting, constrained space, or movement between floors/levels. Many tasks in construction require working with multiple risk factors, which can increase the risk to develop MSD in future.
Best-practice aims to reduce the risk of these kinds of injuries – with construction workers operating in a posture as neutral as possible and to avoid excessive or high-frequent effort. Load-reducing exoskeletons are vital for this and are designed to complement other health and safety solutions such as moving and lifting aids.
Hilti’s new EXO-S is specially designed for all-day use, providing freedom of movement and weighing just 2.4kg. EXO-S is also customisable, as a neck support can be added for extra relief during the most demanding overhead tasks. Pre-defined with small/medium/large steps makes EXO-S easy to adjust to different bodies, which means more sharing amongst workers.
Becca is the latest member to join our team and is eager to get stuck into the world of fasteners. She brings an enthusiastic and fresh outlook on what we do editorially and will be leading our social media activity – including sourcing material, editing articles and posting online.