Integrator feedback – Jean Schober, Red Cross
“For the user, it has become an essential work tool.”
Feedback from Jean Schober, warehousing manager, at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.
What made you decide to start an exoskeleton approach at Red Cross?
During visits to warehouses around the world, I have observed common problems concerning the ergonomics of workstations.
In concrete terms, at the Geneva warehouse, we have employees with a fairly high average age and who have more or less proven back problems – ranging from a simple one-day stoppage for lumbar pain to longer stoppages (a few weeks) for triple disc herniation.
Of course, we started with a review of the ergonomics of the workstations, but when employees are already suffering there are few solutions left.
Integrating exoskeletons is therefore part of a global health approach, linked to an awareness of the importance of maintaining the physical integrity of employees. It is our role as managers to take care of them, to help them preserve their health capital throughout their career.
Why did you choose the Japet.W exoskeleton?
We had already identified the problem of low back pain in our company when I met the Japet team at a trade show.
I was convinced that the exoskeleton could provide assistance during repeated efforts involving the back, and that it could particularly help an employee suffering from lumbar pathology.
In a process of helping and maintaining employment, the medical background, the involvement of doctors specialized in the development of the exoskeleton and the studies carried out by Japet reassured the various parties involved in the company, including the targeted user, occupational physicians and management.
We also discussed at length about Japet’s support during the integration of the exoskeleton, and once again, the approach integrated all the actors of the project.
Everything was very structured, which is reassuring.
How is the Japet.W exoskeleton perceived by the user?
For the user, it has become an indispensable work tool. He told me several times that without the exoskeleton, he would not have come to work because of painful episodes. Knowing that the exoskeleton is waiting for him at work reassures and motivates him.
He very quickly appropriated the equipment, which significantly reduces the feeling of discomfort or even pain when handling heavy loads or repetitive movements.
What is your experience as an integrator?
As we hoped, the exoskeleton relieves lumbar discomfort and pain while helping the operator perform certain delicate tasks.
Finally, what I hadn’t anticipated was the positive impact of the approach on all employees. Everyone was pleasantly surprised that we are trying to improve their well-being and preserve their health at work.