In the United Kingdom, Amey [a Ferrovial company] is working with Transport Scotland to test an innovative exoskeleton for operators on the Forth Bridges. The device, called EksoVest, is designed to reduce the risk involved in manual tasks on the job.
EksoVest is a metal structure that matches the components of the human skeleton. This 9.4-pound spring-powered device supports workers’ arms when performing manual tasks above chest height, providing between 4.8 and 15 pounds of lift for each arm and reducing strain on the back and shoulders. EksoVest is comfortable, so that workers can wear it all the time, and it does not restrict their movement.
“The EksoVest can not only make our people physically safer, but it also reduces fatigue, which enhances productivity and reduces sick leave. We are just beginning this exciting test, which commenced in early April, but we expect this portable technology will improve staff wellbeing by making their work easier,” says Mark Arndt, the Company’s representative on the Forth Bridges Unit.
The EksoVest trial is also being observed by other Amey contracts to assess its potential for use in other tasks, such as waste collection and scaffolding erection.