Freight and logistics provider XPO has completed a pilot trial of exoskeleton safety equipment from Hunic at specific business sites and will deploy the technology across the UK and Ireland before the end of this year.
The exoskeleton suits were introduced to XPO Logistics network sites and some dedicated warehouses in January, including Crick (Scania), the Leicester shared user warehouse (Samsung), the Volkswagen Group UK National Parts Distribution Centre in Dordon, Glen Dimplex, and Daimler in Milton Keynes. Current users at each site are helping to train wider groups on how to use the suits.
Hunic Exoskeleton technology assists wearers with heavy lifting duties, ensuring their posture is correct to reduce the chance of injury. It significantly reduced the fatigue felt by those working in the five XPO depots where the suits were tested. Productivity improved as well: after using the suits at the Samsung operations, there was a 15-20% reduction in unloading time.
Ian Fox, head of health and safety – UK and Ireland, XPO Logistics, said, “The feedback from our XPO colleagues using the exoskeletons during the pilot was hugely positive. The wearers reported significantly less fatigue and effort required in the routine handling activities, which has supported the decision to expand the use and invest in the equipment for the benefit of our colleagues. Additionally, we found that the exoskeleton assists in forming good postural habits that will benefit the wearer even while not using the equipment.”
The Hunic Exoskeleton is designed to prevent the wearer from lifting with incorrect posture. It will only allow the body to move in connection with safe manual handling techniques. For example, it will not allow the back to make an incorrect posture movement.