Widely regarded as one of the major emerging technologies set to change the industry, Eksoskeletons have the potential to revolutionise the way that people work by reducing strain and exertion associated with unavoidable manual tasks. As part of our centrally funded ‘Eureka!’ initiative, Willmott Dixon have purchased an EksoVest from Ekso Bionics in California for trials across our sites, a UK construction industry first which exemplifies our commitment to both Health & Safety and Technology.
The EksoVest is optimised to support the weight of the operatives’ arms when working overhead, safely transferring loads associated with these tasks through a ‘secondary’ skeletal system down to the upper legs. The vest works off a spring-based assistance system that when activated will provide 5-15lbs assistance per arm, augmenting with the user’s natural physical ability to take stresses and strains associated with manual tasks away from the less load tolerant parts of the body.
It has already been adopted by the Ford Motor Company who, following their own trials, have rolled the vests out to 15 of their manufacturing plants across the world to help protect workers that may be prone to RSI associated with their specific tasks.
Starting at our Cardiff West Community High School site in late September, we will be trialling the vest across the country with the aim of gathering tangible feedback that we can analyse with both of Health and Safety team and Ekso Bionics.
Monitor Report. Willmott Dixon. Cardiff. October 2018.