Exoskeletons: A major future protector of worker safety?
Technology could lead to many new tools coming into the workplace. One such emerging tool is the exoskeleton. Broadly speaking, industrial exoskeletons are devices that are designed to work in tandem with a worker’s body to help the worker with physical tasks. They can be powered or passive. Also, they can vary in size and in the types of physical tasks they are aimed at helping workers with.
Such technology is just starting to come into the workplace. Some experts think that upcoming years could see it grow considerably in its presence in industrial environments.
Proponents of this technology argue that exoskeletons could have many potential benefits in the workplace. This includes possible safety benefits for workers in physically intensive jobs.
There are many things that can be major concerns for individuals in physically demanding jobs. This includes the potential for injuries. Physically intensive work could involve lots of lifting or regularly having to make repetitive or awkward motions. Such things could create risks of workers getting hurt on the job, such as suffering back or repetitive stress injuries. Given this, workers’ comp issues related to such injuries can be common ones for workers in physically demanding fields.
It is thought that exoskeletons could give workers lifting and ergonomic support that could help with preventing such injuries. How big of a safety boost do you think workers in physically demanding jobs would get if exoskeletons were to become commonplace?
On the other side of the equation, there are questions as to whether there could be any special safety risks related to exoskeletons. As this technology becomes more developed, one wonders what kinds of steps will be taken to keep it safe for workers.
What do you think the future will hold for exoskeletons in the workplace?