The work-related Injures terminator

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“Ouch! My back got hurt again” a warehouse worker says. People often suffer from heavily lifting at work or doing housework. They might be adopting wrong posture when lifting or carrying heavy items. If you don’t use the right posture to move heavy items, you will spend a lot of money on seeing a doctor. Now, there is a newly designed sensor which can protect against injuries happening at work.

Photo credit: meathead movers https://www.flickr.com/photos/meatheadmovers/5346367887

A team at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi in Canada created wearable sensors that can detect whether workers are using the right posture when lifting or carrying something heavy. The sensor is installed at the bottom of a shoe to detect how people are distributing their body weight. In addition, it is required to put on a hat sensor to accurately track how they are moving.


Photo credit: retrieved from DOI: 10.3390/s17092003 (http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/17/9/2003)

When the research team carried out a test with the system, it could precisely classify the right and wrong postures up to 95%. The system knew the difference between correct and incorrect postures by running a deep learning algorithm. Also, an alert device could be fitted into the hat and make a sound, or the shoe could vibrate to alert users if they were doing their work with wrong posture. “We wanted to find a preventative treatment for work-related injuries.” Barkallah, a member of the team, says.

The shoe sensor and its detection system are still under development. One of the researchers said that it got subtle information about what posture a user was adopting. They still need to take more conditions into account, not only weight distribution for assessing posture.

Photo credit: pixabay https://www.pexels.com/photo/2-man-on-construction-site-during-daytime-159306/

As soon as the sensor is successfully developed, movers who work construction in buildings or baggage loading in logistic warehouses will benefit from it. The whole system will protect them from bone and muscle damage by alerting if they are lifting in a wrong way. They can avoid such damage and do not need to spend extra money curing work-related injuries. This is going to save much more medical cost for those heavy lifters.


News reference: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2146973-shoe-sensor-will-protect-your-back-from-heavy-lifting/

Journal reference: Sensors, DOI: 10.3390/s17092003

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