Hilti has unveiled an improved version of its wearable EXO-O1 skeleton, the EXO-S
The Hilti exoskeleton, designed and produced in conjunction with Ottobock Industrials, now features “an even more inclusive design able to fit a more diverse range of bodies, with additional support and comfort”, according to the tool and product supplier.
According to Hilti, the EXO-S weighs 2.4kg and is suitable for all-day use. It is also described as customisable – a neck support can be added during overhead tasks – and easy to adjust to different bodies due to pre-defined small, medium and large steps. The exoskeleton can also be used by people with a bicep circumference of up to 40cm.
A Hilti spokesperson said: “Ergonomic best practice tells us that to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), we must aim for construction workers to be 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.”
MSDs are a significant cause of health problems in the workplace, accounting for 60% of all workplace health issues within the EU, according to Hilti. The daily repetitive overhead and over-shoulder jobs typical of construction increase the risk of injuries, time off and a lack of productivity, and sometimes early retirement.
Risk factors on a job site can be split into four broad categories:
- the task at hand: whether the task requires repetitive movements;
- the individual: age, gender, physical capabilities, etc;
- the load being dealt with;
- the general environment: this could refer to poor lighting, constrained space or movement between floors/levels.
Many tasks in construction require working with these risk factors, which can increase the chances of developing MSD in future.
Watch the new Hilti exoskeleton in action: