Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is now providing workers with a new exoskeleton vest called the EksoVest that helps decrease fatigue and wear and tear on the bodies of employees. “Building vehicles is physically a tough job” Ford’s Vice President of manufacturing and Labor Affairs, Bruce Hettle, said, “we care about our employees and are trying to help them do their jobs with the least amount of wear and tear on their bodies possible.”
Repetitive motions such as lifting tools overhead thousands of times a day can lead to fatigue in the body and assembly line downtime. Ford released the vest to employees in 15 factories in seven different countries to prevent injury and reduce fatigue which are leading factors in line slowdown. Workers who are between 5’ 2” and 6’ 4” and are required lift and support between 5 to 15 pounds per arm will be provided with the EksoVest. The Company said in a press release, “Since 2005, incidents in Ford’s global facilities that resulted in lost time fell 7%; the 2018 incident rate was one of the lowest on record,” which highlighted their commitment to focusing on technology that can reduce employee fatigue and injury and boost productivity.
Ford partnered with Ekso Bionics to develop this innovative and valuable vest. Ekso Bionics’ President and Chief Executive Officer said, “At Ekso, our mission is to augment human capability with wearable technology and robotics that help people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable.”