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At the heart of the logistics chain: the order preparer store

Behind every product we receive, that we order online, or that we find on the store stalls, is a key player of the supply chain: the preparator store.

Behind the scenes of warehouses and distribution centers, these storage and handling professionals are working to ensure that the products reach good wearing, complying with both quality, hygiene and safety standards, while meeting the time constraints.

Its control of tools (transpallets, forklifts, devils and rolls) allows it to receive, store, prepare and ship the goods.

This is a demanding role that is not free from risk.

Shoper: the 4 risks inherent in the trade

Order preparers are exposed to various types of repetitive movements, heavy loads, and binding positions throughout their work, which exposes them to various Musculo-Skeletal Disorders (TMS).

The most frequent TMS in order preparers stores include:

1. Lombalgia: Pain at the lower back level is common among shoppers who are often forced to lift and move heavy loads repeatedly.

2. Tendinites: Repetitive movements involved in order preparation, such as the gesture of seizing and moving products, can lead to tendinitis at the shoulder, elbow, and wrists.

3. Joint problems: Heavy loads, frequent bending and binding positions can cause joint problems, such as osteoarthritis, especially in the knees and hips.

4. Back problems: In addition to lombalgia, shoppers may also be subject to other back problems, such as disc hernias, due to repeated requests on their spinal column.

Beyond Pain: Understanding TMS

Musculoskeletal disorders (TMS) are diseases that affect the joints, muscles and tendons due, in particular, to biomechanical overburden.

Given their high prevalence (they represent 87% of occupational diseases in France) and their impacts both for employees (sequelles...) and for companies (absentery, lower productivity, health insurance premiums...), it is necessary to put in place concrete actions to remedy them.

Among these, it is possible to turn to the exoskeletons.

The 6 preventive measures to be adopted

These chronic pains have the effect of generating prolonged absences from work. To prevent these risks, adequate training, appropriate ergonomic practices and suitable equipment are essential to ensure the health and well-being of shoppers.

1. Train shoppers to good lifting and manual handling techniques.

2. Encourage regular breaks to reduce movement repeatability.

3. Ergonomically designed workstations to promote comfortable work positions.

4. Promote awareness of the risks associated with SMS and encourage employees to report any symptoms or possible pain.

5. Establish task rotations to diversify movements and distribute efforts on different muscle groups.

6. Use appropriate and well-maintained handling equipment to reduce physical efforts, including exoskeletons.

What is an exoskeleton?

Exoskeletal Physical Assistance Devices (PADs) are ergonomic solutions that, as their name suggests, aim to reduce the biomechanical demands of workers.

Carried on the body as a backpack, these exoskeletons are completely passive (no engines, cylinders or other electronics) and operate with a principle of storage-restitution of energy through composite springs.

Concretely, the exoskeletons developed by ErgoHealth make it possible to facilitate work, reduce fatigue, preserve health and maintain employment.

HAPO SD: the exoskeleton that relieves the back to the ground bending

The HAPO SD (Unlocking) is the simplest and robust passive physical support device in the HAPO range. Both light (0.9 kg) and discreet, the HAPO SD was designed to partially redirect the efforts of the top of the trunk (by pectoral support), to the thighs.

Working with composite spring rods, the HAPO SD reduces the physical burden of workers thus preserves intervertebral discs.

Optimal situations for the use of HAPO SD exoskeleton are those requiring a complete bending of the trunk to the ground, static or dynamic.

In laboratory tests, it was shown that, compared to an exoskeletal situation, the HAPO SD allowed to reduce approximately -11 % the solicitation of back muscles.