At ITURRI we work to improve the wellbeing of people, with a commitment to innovative solutions that promote safety and protection in the workplace. Our ergonomic solutions are born from research and the development of new systems. To arrive at these solutions we work hand in hand with Laevo, both looking to solve the problems caused by employee’s daily physical burdens. Our star solution is the exoskeleton that has been created with the purpose of reducing and preventing lumbar illnesses and injuries in the workplace.
Lumbar pain is a very common health problem nowadays, as well as being one of the main causes of disability. This discomfort affects people daily, both in their performance at work as well as affecting their well-being. To solve this problem in the workplace, exoskeletons have been created to allow the reduction and prevention of pain caused by physical exertion. Because of this, it is revolutionising the workplace safety and protection market.
An exoskeleton is a portable device that is worn by the user and generates extra energy when carrying out physical tasks. Exoskeletons are used to prevent lumbago when other preventative measures are not feasible or practical. Another area of use, is when the automation of tasks is not possible or when tasks are varied. Exoskeletons allow workplace illness and injury caused by physical exertion to be reduced and prevented, as well as improving the general quality of life of the worker. Generally, workers that are fit and healthy tend to suffer less from physical illnesses, as well as mental illness. Good physical and mental health influence the wellbeing of a person, which at the same time improves productivity and in turn becomes a competitive advantage for employees. Committed workers are usually more willing to return to work after an injury, they are more cooperative. Furthermore, companies that know how to retain and recover employees after a period of absence due to illness or injury and reduce disability and other kinds of costs.
In order to explain how an exoskeleton works, it is necessary to imagine somebody crossing the finish line after a long race, most likely they are tired, gasping for breath and leaning forward with their hands on their thighs. In this position, the runner diverts the activity of the erector muscle in the spine, through their arms, to the thighs. Laevo offers support when workers lean forward, mainly in the chest area. In this way, the force is diverted through the system to the upper part of the legs. This supposes 50% less activity in the spine muscles and causes less pressure on the vertebrae. Therefore reducing the risk of back injuries, and as a consequence, injury related absence. Laevo is a unique exoskeleton, a portable back support that helps the user whilst they work in a forward leaning position or when lifting objects. Furthermore, it is 100% mechanical, this allows it to be used in any working environment, since it is does not need a battery. Its flexible structure makes it a completely exclusive apparatus, given that it provides support while at the same time allowing the user to walk and move their body. If it is used with intelligent hinges, the user can bend fully, until touching their toes. In addition, Laevo also improves the user’s conscience of their posture.
Some examples of the main users are: order pickers in warehouses or in logistics companies such as Geodis or Schneider Electric, production workers in the automobile industry such as BMW and Ford, engineers in the aviation sector, people moving suitcases in airports...practically in any job where workers need to lean or where workers load or unload materials.
Back problems are the most common cause of workplace absence. Working in a bent posture is inevitable in many professions, for example when caring for sick people and order picking in logistics warehouses. Having to use these postures on a regular basis increases the risks of suffering from back pains and considerably reduces the wellbeing of people at work. In March 2015, the 5th European Working Conditions Survey revealed that 30% of European workers suffer from chronic back pain, occupying first place on the list of work related conditions.
One preventative action is basic instructions for tasks which can overload the back and manual handling and forced posture training should be given. Some articles about ergonomics link the appearance of back pains to lifting weights of more than 50kg with the spine bent more than 30 degrees or pushing more than 75kg from an upright position.
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