Groundbreaking initiative convenes
leading-edge companies to address most common workplace
DIEGO, Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Advancing
its mission to unite business leaders and safety innovators
worldwide to prevent musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, the
National Safety Council MSD Solutions Lab launched its
first-ever Safety Innovation Challenge in San Diego during the annual NSC Safety
Congress & Expo. Hosted in collaboration with Safetytech
Accelerator, the challenge represents the latest initiative from
the MSD Solutions Lab – a groundbreaking program established
in 2021 with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) – and spotlighted six leading
technology firms from around the globe as they presented new MSD
"Global collaboration and innovative thinking are the pillars on
which the MSD Solutions Lab is built, and the inaugural Safety
Innovation Challenge is an important step forward in our
effort to eliminate these debilitating injuries," said Paul Vincent, NSC executive vice president of
workplace practice. "Ultimately, our goal is more than just
pioneering research and amplifying next-generation safety
solutions, it's all about ensuring advancements in MSD prevention
are rapidly scaled to benefit workers at all workplaces, so they
can live their fullest lives on and off the clock."
"Innovation is a key element of what we call the Amazon Safety
flywheel, with technology being a cornerstone of our safety
programs," said Heather MacDougall,
vice president of Worldwide Workplace Health and Safety at Amazon.
"We are honored to support the Safety Innovation Challenge
to drive meaningful MSD innovations, and we look forward to
identifying and learning about new solutions to common safety
issues facing employers across the industry."
MSDs are the most common workplace injury and represent the
leading cause of worker disability, involuntary retirement and
limitations to gainful employment. These injuries include
tendinitis, back strains and sprains, as well as carpal tunnel
syndrome, and are often caused by exposures to repetitive, forceful
exertions like heavy lifting. Recognizing the scope and complexity
of this omnipresent safety issue, Safetytech Accelerator initially
sourced over 100 technology companies with MSD solutions ranging
from vision analytics, collaborative robots, wearables and
exoskeletons, and selected six finalists with NSC for the Safety
Innovation Challenge. Each finalist presented a unique
approach to detecting, moving and transporting objects more safely
in industrial workplaces. Following the challenge, several of these
technology solutions will have the opportunity to be piloted by the
nation's leading employers.
"We have been truly impressed by the range and quality of
solutions that entrepreneurs all around the world are developing to
help prevent MSDs," said Dr. Maurizio Pilu, managing director of
Safetytech Accelerator. "The selection of the six candidates to
participate in the challenge was not easy given the pool of great
solutions we saw, but we believe that the companies selected
represent some of the best examples of technology-enabled MSD
prevention out there."
This year's Safety Innovation Challenge participants
included the following safety-focused technology companies:
- Effidence: EffiBOT, the autonomous mobile robot
pioneered by Effidence, is designed to improve logistics
performance in factories and warehouses by serving as an automated
handling assistant. In addition to helping workers lift heavy
materials, the collaborative robot is equipped with a leading
navigation system to transport items across various
- Extend Robotics: The London-based company couples advanced robotics
and virtual reality to provide organizations with a revolutionary
approach to workplace automation: teleoperated commercial robots.
In addition to removing employees from potentially hazardous
situations, the intuitive, easy-to-operate technology enables
employers to scale operations more efficiently.
- HeroWear: Created in 2018, HeroWear's battery-free
Apex Exosuit is uniquely designed to address the many
limitations employers and workers report with traditional
exoskeletons, which are an MSD solution for many employers. In
addition to being lightweight for workers and affordable for
businesses of all sizes, the company is one of the first to offer
exosuits in women's sizes.
- Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR): In addition to assuming
heavy lifting duties to reduce the risk of injury to workers, the
company's robots are designed to make autonomous deliveries,
enabling employees to focus on higher-value activities within the
organization. Since launching in 2013, MiR products have been
successfully used in manufacturing facilities, logistics centers
and hospitals around the world.
- TuMeke Ergonomics: This company offers an omnichannel
platform that leverages computer vision and artificial intelligence
to evaluate workers' posture and joint positions while tracking
their ergonomic risk factors over time, providing employers with a
more organized, comprehensive risk assessment.
- WearKinetic: WearKinetic is a wearable motion sensor
designed to detect improper bending, overreaching and twisting. In
addition to delivering haptic feedback to workers to prevent
hazardous movements, the tool aggregates company-wide data to help
employers make more informed safety decisions.
"MiR was delighted to participate in the Safety Innovation
Challenge and present our automated mobile robot technology to
highlight the impact of MSDs in the workplace," said Bryan Kelly, sales director of MiR Robotics. "It
is our hope to educate people on how to make the manufacturing and
warehouse environment safer."
The Safety Innovation Challenge is one of several
initiatives launching this year by the MSD Solutions Lab to achieve
its goal of preventing MSDs before they start. To learn more about
these efforts, visit https://www.nsc.org/msd.
About the National Safety
The National Safety Council is America's leading nonprofit
safety advocate – and has been for more than 100 years. As a
mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes
of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the
workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to
not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace
so they can live their fullest lives.
Connect with NSC:
Safetytech Accelerator is a non-profit established by Lloyd's
Register and the Lloyd's Register Foundation. It is the first fully
dedicated technology accelerator focused on safety and risk in
industrial sectors, with a mission to make the world safer and more
sustainable through wider adoption of technology.
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SOURCE National Safety Council