Search By Topic The Green Supply Chain Distribution Digest
Supply Chain Digest Logo

Category: Supply Chain Trends and Issues

Supply Chain News: Time for Iron Man in Distribution?



Exosuits Said to Reduce Stain for Lifting 30-40%

July 13, 2021
SCDigest Editorial Staff

There is growing concern about making distribution jobs safer in terms of injuries to associates.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

Chris Lewis, president of ADUSA Supply Chain, said that the devices could also help retain employees in a tight labor market.

What do you say?

Click here to send us your comments
Click here to see reader feedback

For example, Amazon in May announced that WorkingWell, a program that provides employees with physical, mental and nutritional support, and other wellness services, will be rolled out across the entire US operations network by the end of the year. The goal: cutting recordable incident rates — an OSHA measurement of worker injury and illness — by 50% by 2025.

That’s one way. Maybe there’s another way, with a taste of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit.

Some of the US retail brands of Dutch grocery giant Ahold Delhaize have been testing something called an “exosuit” for distribution center workers – a battery powered wearable technology that assists workers in lifting goods – and grocery DCs have long been known for requiring order pickers to grab and place often heavy cases onto pallet jacks or conveyor belts.

The wearable technology comes from Cambridge, MA-based Verve Motion. It claims its exosuits – which it calls Safelift - can reduce 30% to 40% of the strain from lifting without restricting a workers movements. The benefits result from an array of sensors and algorithms that detect how workers move and assist them in lifting as they work in distribution.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal says Ahold US chains Food Lion and Stop & Shop began testing the lightweight technology last year. Based on the results, the stores plans to expand the pilot to include more than 250 exosuits over the next few months at multiple DCs.

The company notes that in addition to reducing back and other repetitive motion injuries, the lift assist helps attract and retain workers in this period of a very tight labor markets.

Workers naturally enough prefer their work to be easier.

(See More Below)




The company started testing the devices at two sites last year, with a goal of reducing worker fatigue and soft tissue injuries. Chris Lewis, president of ADUSA Supply Chain, said that they could also help retain employees in a tight labor market.

“Having it be more compelling for people to want to work for us” was “very much on top of our minds,” said Chris Lewis, president of ADUSA Supply Chain.

It is not clear how much one of the exosuits costs.

What do you think of these exosuits for warehouse workers? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.




Follow Us

Supply Chain Digest news is available via RSS
RSS facebook twitter youtube
bloglines my yahoo
news gator


Subscribe to our insightful weekly newsletter. Get immediate access to premium contents. Its's easy and free
Enter your email below to subscribe:
Join the thousands of supply chain, logistics, technology and marketing professionals who rely on Supply Chain Digest for the best in insight, news, tools, opinion, education and solution.
Home | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact Us | Sitemap | Privacy Policy
© Supply Chain Digest 2006-2023 - All rights reserved