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Preventing MSDs in the ceramist profession: Guaranteeing the well-being of ceramist artisans

Despite the artistic and creative nature of the ceramicist profession, which seduces with the beauty and singularity of the works produced, it also involves risks for the health of artisans. Rates of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and occupational health problems in this field are among the highest among artistic artisans.

Handling clay, repetitive gestures related to modeling, turning and different shaping techniques, as well as long hours spent working in uncomfortable positions, can expose ceramists to the risk of developing MSDs.

To prevent these risks, it is essential for ceramic artisans to implement effective preventive measures. Among these measures, the use of ergonomic exoskeletons adapted to the specific movements and postures of the ceramicist profession can be particularly beneficial. These exoskeletons, designed to support and relieve muscles and joints, help reduce muscle fatigue and physical strain during repetitive tasks.

In addition, training and raising awareness of ceramists in good ergonomic practices and safe work techniques can also help reduce the risks of MSDs and improve their quality of professional life.

By combining the use of ergonomic exoskeletons and training in good working practices, it is possible to guarantee a safer and healthier working environment for ceramic artisans, while preserving the passion, creativity and authenticity of their profession.t l'authenticité de leur métier.

The 5 major risks inherent to the profession of ceramist

Ceramic artisans face various risks of accidents and health problems, some of which can have significant consequences, including:

1. MSD of the upper limbs: Repetitive gestures related to modeling, turning and different shaping techniques can lead to MSD in the shoulders, arms and hands.

2. Back TMS: Prolonged postures and twisting movements required when working on the potter's wheel or modeling large pieces can cause back TMS.

3. MSDs of the lower extremities: Prolonged standing on hard surfaces, handling heavy clay and frequent movement around the workshop can increase the risk of MSDs in the legs, knees and feet.

4. Neck MSD: Postures adopted during filming, modeling and other creative activities can lead to neck and cervical MSDs.

5. General fatigue and muscular stress: The physical demands of daily work, the repetition of technical movements and long hours spent working in uncomfortable positions can induce generalized muscular fatigue and stress on the whole body, thus increasing the risk of MSD.

It is therefore essential for ceramic artisans and professionals in the ceramic sector to implement effective preventive strategies. Among these strategies, the use of ergonomic exoskeletons adapted to the specific movements and postures of the ceramicist profession can play an important role in reducing the risks of MSDs. By combining the use of ergonomic exoskeletons, training in good ergonomic practices and awareness of safe working techniques, it is possible to guarantee the long-term health and well-being of ceramic artisans.

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.

Preventive measures for ceramic artisans: Promoting musculoskeletal health in ceramic workshops

In order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among ceramic artisans, here are some essential preventive measures to adopt:

1. Workstation layout: Customize workstations by adjusting equipment to reduce physical strain, for example by providing height-adjustable worktables to minimize excessive bending during modeling and turning.

2. Use of ergonomic exoskeletons: Make available ergonomic exoskeletons adapted to the specific movements and postures of the ceramicist profession to reduce physical pressure on the upper limbs, back and lower limbs, as well as to relieve muscle fatigue.

3. Task rotation: Encourage task rotation to diversify movements and reduce repetitiveness, thus helping to prevent muscle fatigue and MSDs.

4. Taking regular breaks: Promote regular breaks during extended work periods, allowing artisans to rest and relax their muscles, with the use of ergonomic exoskeletons for back relief.

5. Medical and ergonomic monitoring: Offer regular medical monitoring to detect signs of MSD early and offer personalized ergonomic advice to optimize the use of exoskeletons and prevent injuries.

6. Training and awareness: Provide training on the risks of MSDs and good work practices, raise awareness among artisans on the appropriate use of ergonomic exoskeletons and their benefits in terms of musculoskeletal relief.

By combining these preventive measures, it is possible to guarantee a safer and healthier working environment for ceramic artisans, while preserving the passion, creativity and authenticity of their profession.

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: the exoskeleton that relieves the back on demand

The HAPO is a passive physical support device that operates with composite spring rods that allows a partial transfer of efforts from the top of the trunk (by pectoral support), to the thighs.

Both light (1.2 kg) and discreet, HAPO has been designed to help workers reduce lumbar physical load and thus preserve intervertebral discs.

Optimal situations for the use of HAPO exoskeleton are those that require a "fronted" posture" static or dynamic tasks.

Useable both outdoors and indoors, the HAPO has the particularity of being disconnectable in such a way that it can sit in an equipment or climb stairs without any discomfort and security.

In laboratory tests, it was shown that, compared to an exoskeletal situation, the HAPO allowed to reduce approximately -20 % the solicitation of back muscles.

HAPO FRONT: the exoskeleton dedicated to repetitive tasks in front of one

The HAPO FRONT is a physical support device for relieve upper limbs, shoulders. Thanks to its two composite spring rods surmounted by two double interfaces, the HAPO FRONT maintains the user’s arms in a working position, face to face.

Its design made simple and intuitive makes HAPO FRONT a particularly suitable solution for any work posing repeated manipulation objects prolonged arm retention in front of you or all postures "arm forward impacting the members of the upper body. Tested in laboratory by a team of biomechanics, HAPO FRONT has proven to be particularly effective for reduce shoulder constraints: -15% muscle solicitation associated with this joint (with blue springs) compared to an identical situation made without exoskeleton.