31 JANUARY 2024: We have been helping the meat processing industry examine the potential of exoskeletons … technology that helps people undertake challenging physical activity.
Our WHSO and production staff at our Cannon Hill processing plant participated in a trial of Ironhand technology (below) as part of an industry-wide review. This human-assisted glove can strengthen the hand’s grip and the holding forces of the thumb and fingers.
The glove is fitted with pressure sensors and AI enables the device to learn, adapt, anticipate and then activate grip movement patterns and required force levels.
ACC’s WHS manager Joell Brown said: “The application of Ironhand also serves a substantial role in rehabilitating injured workers back into the workforce.”
Our trial was among the most successful nationally. The researchers reported: “Of the eight shortlisted devices, the Ironhand glove was identified as the device most likely to have the greatest impact across the broadest range and number of meat processing jobs when compared to the other devices.
“This powered glove reduces grip forces to grasp and manipulate tools, objects and parts of a carcase being processed. Because of the high level of likely application within meat processing, the Ironhand glove was prioritised for processor-based testing.”
The trial was overseen by the Australian Meat Processor Corporation which reported: “With appropriate safety precautions in place, the study concluded that exoskeletons and other human assistance technologies have great potential to be useful in reducing the physical demands of many manual tasks, improving operator efficiency, and accelerating the development of greater mechanisation and automation.”
The report of the research was released recently and is available at https://lnkd.in/gzmY4RTU