As technology advances, science fiction is becoming a science-fact in the workplace. Industrial exoskeletons, for example, may be the answer to two of the biggest issues in manufacturing:
Worker Injuries: By reducing the exertion on workers, industrial exoskeletons protect workers from missing time due to musculoskeletal disorders. These can include crippling damage to joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves and the supporting structures of the limbs, neck, and back.
A Shrinking Skilled Workforce: Young people, often told that a college education is better for determining a career rather than manufacturing skills, are shunning labor-intensive professions. Exoskeletons offset much of the stigma associated with manual labor, while also carrying an undeniable “cool” factor that appeals to younger workers.
Studies Underscore the Importance
- One-third of lost workdays are related to musculoskeletal disorders.
- Recovery from a musculoskeletal disorder requires a median of 11 workdays, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More serious disorders, such as rotator cuff surgery, can sideline a worker for 3-8 months.
- Overexertion injuries amount to $13.7 billion in annual costs.
- An Iowa State study showed a 20 percent reduction in muscle load for workers utilizing exoskeleton technology, leading to less fatigue and improved quality of work.
- In the first quarter of this year, one out of four manufacturers turned down new business because they lacked qualified workers.
- A 2014 study found that “80% of manufacturers report(ed) a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled production positions."
The Future Is Not Here Yet – So Secure Yours
While the incorporation of technology offers much promise for the future, most Iowa laborers still toil in jobs that pose risks to their health and livelihood. If you suffer a serious injury on the job, you will face multiple health struggles – physical, emotional and mental. Add financial worries to the list if you’re unable to work, provide for your family and pay your bills. Then there are legal woes if your employer challenges the validity of your workers’ compensation claim. They may blame you for your injury, hiding behind their legal department. In the meantime, an insurance company may try to take advantage of you by tempting you with a lowball financial settlement.
The Iowa workers’ compensation attorneys at Paul McAndrew Law Firm, PLLC, have been fighting for injured workers just like you throughout the state, including Iowa City, for more than 30 years. They will navigate the complex bureaucracy of workers’ compensation to get you the medical care and disability benefits that you deserve while you focus on your healing.
Contact them today for a free case consultation.