Exoskeletons used in the workplace are referred to as “industrial exoskeletons.” Their purpose is to augment, amplify, or reinforce the performance of a worker’s existing body components—primarily the lower back and the upper extremity (arms and shoulders). Despite a lack of research, manufacturers of these devices claim productivity gains, work quality improvements, and a reduction of the risk of work‐related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).
As of 2015, 80% of active surface mining operations were extracting stone, sand, and gravel. A majority of job-related tasks in surface mining require workers to maintain awkward postures, perform repetitive movements, and operate vibrating machinery.
In October 2017 we published the first blog in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. With the holiday season upon us, this next installment will take the opportunity to discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health in retail establishments to reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders among temporary retail workers.