Hilti launches improved exoskeleton for more diverse bodies

The new exoskeleton from Hilti, EXO-S

Hilti has launched an improved version of its wearable EXO-O1 skeleton, the EXO-S.

The Hilti exoskeleton, designed and produced in conjunction with Ottobock Industrials, now features “an even more inclusive design able to fit a more diverse range of bodies, with additional support and comfort”, according to the tool and product supplier.

The EXO-S is:

  • suitable for all-day use and weighs just 2.4kg (“one of the lightest shoulder exoskeletons currently available”, according to Hilti);
  • customisable – a neck support can be added for extra relief during the most demanding overhead tasks; and
  • easy to adjust – pre-defined small/medium/large steps make it easy to adjust to different bodies, which means more sharing among workers. The exoskeleton can be used by people with a bicep circumference of up to 40cm.

Hilti said: “Ergonomic best practice tells us that to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), we must aim for construction workers to be in a posture as neutral as possible and to avoid excessive or high-frequent effort. Load-reducing exoskeletons are vital for this and are designed to complement other health and safety solutions such as moving and lifting aids.”

Musculoskeletal disorders

MSDs are a significant cause of health problems in the workplace, accounting for 60% of all workplace health issues within the EU, according to Hilti. The daily repetitive overhead and over-shoulder jobs typical of construction increase the risk of injuries, time off and a lack of productivity, and sometimes early retirement.

Risk factors on a job site can be split into four broad categories:

  • the task at hand: does the task require repetitive movements?;
  • the individual: age, gender, physical capabilities, etc;
  • the load being dealt with; and
  • the general environment: this could refer to poor lighting, constrained space or movement between floors/levels.

Many tasks in construction require working with these risk factors, which can increase the chances of developing MSD in future.

Watch the new Hilti exoskeleton in action:

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