Working without the weight: this is the premise behind zero gravity tool holders. Workplace injuries are on the rise, with more than $1 billion per week spent by U.S. employers on the most disabling, non-fatal workplace injuries. In fact, the annual cost to U.S. businesses of lost-time workplace injuries is more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of 91 countries combined!
Overexertion is the #1 cause of serious or disabling workplace injuries, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the total. Construction is the most common industry to report disabling workplace injuries. Indeed, construction workers are 5x more likely to report poor health, with 20 percent of them reporting severe pain.
With the advent of innovative exoskeleton technologies, workers can now perform heavy hand tool tasks with less fatigue, fewer workplace injuries and better quality workmanship.
For example, our EksoZeroG is a robotic, zero gravity arm able to hold heavy tools atop aerial work platforms, scissor lifts and scaffolding. It’s a spring-loaded robotic arm that is able to transfer the weight of heavy tools to its base, then into the ground. The unit has the ability to be mounted in less than one minute, making large jobs much easier and faster. It can also decrease injury and increase production.
But more than that, it eases the physical burden on construction and demolition workers so they can maneuver tools and other objects as if they are weightless.
Easing the Burden
Zero gravity arms are designed to relieve the pressure and weight load from the worker’s limb, providing physical support through an entire range of motion. Zero gravity tool balancers essentially allow tools to hang in the air wherever they are left by the worker when they remove their hand.
So how exactly does an industrial exoskeleton ease the burden on today’s construction workers and other physical laborers? A zero gravity arm can:
- Reduce worker fatigue
- Increase productivity
- Decrease workplace injury
- Increase worker retention
- Decrease employee time off due to injury
- Maintain an ergonomic work environment
- Reduce musculoskeletal disorders arising from the use of heavy hand tools
- Minimize the amount of force needed to activate trigger devices.
- Easy to use
- Can prevent tools from being loaded incorrectly
- Can prevent tangling
- Compatible with tools weighing up to 42 lbs
Zero gravity support offers workers an environment where they will encounter a tool exactly where it had been discarded, each and every time. No searching around, no wasted time. With no gravitational force acting on the tool, it will be inert when not being manipulated by a human operator.
Rather than fruitlessly searching for a tool in a rack system or on a table top, the worker will intuitively know where those tools are. That’s because they will be hanging suspended from the zero gravity tool holder or balancer, exactly where they had been left. Zero gravity systems can eliminate many small tasks, such as when a worker:
- Sets a tool down on a tabletop
- Encloses a tool in a protective case, or wraps it with cloth
- Balances a tool on its side, top or bottom
- Brings a tool near a surface in a workspace
- Implements an additional range of motion while the tool is in hand
As you can see, the benefits to zero gravity arms are many. This is the future of work: fewer injuries on the job and higher levels of productivity.
Contact Ekso Bionics
Here at Ekso Bionics, we’re in the business of making things easier for workers and their employers. Reduce workplace incidents, increase productivity and lower worker fatigue with EksoZeroG, an innovative robotic arm that holds heavy tools on aerial work platforms and scaffolding. Learn more about it when you call us or request a free demo.