Ergoskeletons take the strain for warehouse pickers

A French company has developed the Ergoskel, a device warehouse pickers wear to prevent back and neck strain when lifting heavy items.

Warehouse trolley manufacturers have developed efficient heavy duty trolleys that make it easy for workers to move items around the warehouse, but they still have to lift items from shelves to put on the trolleys. Repeatedly lifting heavy items can cause musculoskeletal injuries.

The Ergoskel is a frame that is worn like a vest – a concept known as an ‘ergoskeleton’. It contains lift assistance devices that detect when the picker puts their hand under an item to lift it. The mechanism then provides an extra lift to make it easier to pick up objects that weigh up to 25kg. The manufactures of the Ergoskel 3PL FM Logistic, claim that the device reduces back and upper muscle strain when lifting by up to 70%.

Workers who wear the Ergoskel say that it does not restrict freedom of movement. The managing director of FM Logistic for Western Europe, Yannick Buisson, said:

“Innovation is key to improving the health, safety, and working conditions of our warehouse employees – one third of which are pickers.”

Many warehouses would like to use robots for picking order items, but fully automated systems are expensive and beyond the budget of many small to medium businesses. Unless robot technology significantly reduces in price, they will stick to manual handling for order picking. Wearable devices that assist manual effort like the Ergoskel could help warehouse pickers be more efficient and reduce muscle strain injuries.

Posted by Derek
26th November 2019
Health & Safety

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