Ergonomic Equipment Can Help Prevent Injuries
Published July 20, 2021
A shipbuilder demonstrates ergonomic equipment. Photo by Ashley Cowan
Helping shipbuilders reduce repetitive motions and work safely is important to Wendell Boone, a foreman committed to injury prevention education. “There’s always something to improve on,” he said.
He and the Shipbuilder Strong team recently led employees on a tour in the welding services facility – a shop outfitted with ergonomic equipment. Shipbuilder Strong is a yardwide initiative designed to prepare employees for the physical demands of shipbuilding, such as proper movement patterns, body mechanics and new innovative handling techniques.
Keven Pugh II (O43) demonstrated how to use a BackX, which is an exoskeleton worn around the torso to help reduce strain on lower back muscles. Shipbuilders who use new ergonomic equipment take surveys on how to improve it. “By giving feedback, we work with the vendors to gear the equipment to our shipbuilders’ needs,” he said.
Dave Byrum (O40) said shipbuilders’ health and safety is a top priority. “Ergonomic equipment is still being adapted to the shipyard,” he said. “When you get people’s ideas about it, that’s a success.”