Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Meat processing sector trials ‘wearable’ technology

New wearable technology designed to reduce the risk of injury is being trialled by New Zealand’s meat processing sector.

The Suit-X Exoskeleton is a spring-loaded, non-mechanical device worn by workers to provide strength and support for mechanical and repetitive tasks. The suits reduce forces, cutting the risk of injury and increasing productivity, especially during periods of sustained bending and overhead reaching.

The back and shoulder suits, which can be worn on their own or together, do not impede everyday tasks such as walking, driving or climbing a ladder. They do not require the use of computers or batteries.

A study using surface sensors on the muscles during scaffold building demonstrated a 45 per cent reduction in muscle activity required for the task.

Developed in the United States by Suit-X, the Exoskeleton technology was recently demonstrated at a series of workshops across the country by the Australian-based company Biosymm, supported by the Meat Industry Association (MIA) and WorkSafe New Zealand.

Tim Ritchie, chief executive of the Meat Industry Association, says investing in technology is playing a pivotal role in the sector’s efforts to improve its health and safety performance.

“We have significantly reduced the injury rates over time, with the number of ACC injury claims more than halving since 2004. However, we are committed to lifting our performance further by exploring new technologies to remove or reduce risk.

“We believe good health and safety is more than compliance. We have a responsibility to look after our people to ensure they go home safe and well.”

The MIA and WorkSafe New Zealand signed a Partnership Agreement in April 2018, says Mr Ritchie.

“We are committed to sharing intelligence on critical harm and injury trends and issues, facilitating industry-good research to reduce injuries and illness, assisting in worker involvement, and supporting health and safety training.”

WorkSafe New Zealand Engagement Lead Julie-Ann Mail says 487 workers in the meat processing industry had more than a week away from work due to body stressing injuries in 2018.

“The Exoskeleton roadshow demonstrates the leadership of the Meat Industry Association, which is looking to address manual handling injuries in the industry with state of the art technology.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


TradeMe: Property Prices In Every Region Hit New High For The Very First Time

Property prices experienced their hottest month on record in December, with record highs in every region, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.\ Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said the property market ended the year with ... More>>

Motor Industry Association: 2020 New Vehicle Registrations Suffer From Covid-19

Chief Executive David Crawford says that like some other sectors of the New Zealand economy, the new vehicle sector suffered from a case of Covid-19. Confirmed figures for December 2020 show registrations of 8,383 were 25% ... More>>

CTU 2021 Work Life Survey: COVID And Bullying Hit Workplaces Hard, Huge Support For Increased Sick Leave

New data from the CTU’s annual work life survey shows a snapshot of working people’s experiences and outlook heading out of 2020 and into the new year. Concerningly 42% of respondents cite workplace bullying as an issue in their workplace - a number ... More>>

Smelter: Tiwai Deal Gives Time For Managed Transition

Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed to working on a managed transition with the local community,” Grant Robertson said. More>>


OECD: Area Employment Rate Rose By 1.9 Percentage Points In The Third Quarter Of 2020

OECD area employment rate rose by 1.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, but remained 2.5 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level The OECD area [1] employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – rose ... More>>

Economy: Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four

SEEK Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December. Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower...More>>

NIWA: 2020 - NZ’s 7th-warmest Year On Record

The nationwide average temperature for 2020, calculated using stations in NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which began in 1909, was 13.24°C (0.63°C above the 1981–2010 annual average). New Zealand’s hottest year on record remains 2016, when... More>>

Quotable Value New Zealand: Property Market Set To Cool From Sizzling To Warm In 2021

Nostradamus himself could not have predicted the strange series of events that befell our world in 2020 – nor the wild trajectory of New Zealand’s property market, which has gone from “doom and gloom” to “boom and Zoom” in record time. Even ... More>>