Exoskeleton use in the workplace is expected to increase at a faster rate. Although the effects this technology has on workers is still unclear, there are currently over 1,000 exoskeleton units in use at job locations around the world. With the increase in the use of this technology, more insurance companies are getting involved to protect employees. Although there are both pros and cons to introducing exoskeletons to employees, it will take time to uncover the effects this technology has on workers.
What is the Purpose of an Exoskeleton?
Exoskeletons provide assistive force and can augment an employee’s hand, shoulder, and lower back. Exoskeletons can be placed over the user’s entire body or a specific body part. They are normally made of hard or soft material and contain sensors that monitor the user’s movement. Exo-technology can aid as shoulder support harnesses, hip support, chairs, and power gloves. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health expects a growth in wearable exoskeleton suits.
Pros of Using Exoskeletons
Pros of exoskeletons in the workplace include a decrease in the number of workplace injuries, which can lead to a decrease in the number of workers’ compensation claims. For a wearable device to be effective, it only needs to provide just enough assistance; it does not need to do all the work. Exoskeletons provide support and may reduce fatigue. There is also the possibility that exoskeletons may reduce the amount of time that injured employees are out of work, which can be beneficial to the injured employee. Exoskeleton’s can also help individuals with spine injuries walk.
Cons of Using Exoskeletons
Cons of exoskeletons include the potential for exoskeletons to lead to injuries that may only show up after prolonged use of the equipment. Exoskeletons may transfer energy from a vulnerable body part to another part of the body, causing damage there. Exoskeletons also have the potential to cause a permanent and unwanted change to the body. There are some who believe that exoskeletons cause muscle atrophy, which is a weakening of the muscles due to lack of use. Although unlikely, this can lead to an increase in workers’ compensation claims.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Clients Injured in Workplace Accidents
Sustaining a workplace injury can leave you out of a paycheck and with a lot of questions. If you or someone you know suffered a work injury, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. today. Our experienced lawyers will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
Located in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Lansdowne, and Reading, we represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.