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New tech device could save warehouse workers' backs

Each day, warehouse workers in Colorado perform physically strenuous jobs that put them at risk of injury. While working in a fast-paced environment, simple tasks like bending and lifting can become grueling for workers who perform these moves repeatedly throughout the day. Although workers are usually trained on proper lifting techniques, this training may be ignored on busy days.

A new company is hoping to improve warehouse safety through its development of a high-tech back brace. The device detects what muscles a worker is using while they perform lifting tasks and then sends that information to a wristband in real time. Using this data, workers can determine what changes they need to make in order to prevent potential injuries.

In addition to keeping warehouse workers on track throughout their day, the device could provide valuable information for warehouse supervisors. For instance, if workers spend an hour each day lifting heavy objects above their heads, this information will be stored in the device. Supervisors will then be able to work on solutions to improve workplace safety such as installing steps near high shelves. Although the new product is initially being marketed to warehouses, the company is planning to bring the technology into the health care sector as well.

A warehouse worker who performs unsafe lifting tasks repeatedly could seriously damage their spine. In addition to being painful, this kind of injury could result in the worker having to take extended periods off. To compensate for this financial loss, many injured employees choose to file a workers' compensation claim for benefits. An attorney who has experience in this area can be of assistance throughout the process.

Source: Wired, "The Internet of Anything: This Wearable Could Keep You From Throwing Out Your Back", Klint Finley, Feb. 23, 2015

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