Ford using virtual reality to prevent workplace injuries
Construction and industrial workers in Essex are at a serious risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders. These types of injuries are usually caused by repetitive physical labor involving heavy lifting and awkward postures. They account for more than 40 percent of all work-related injuries in the United Kingdom.
In an effort to prevent musculoskeletal injuries, some companies are using virtual reality technology to assess the injury risk of assembly lines. Ford Motor Company has been using 3D computer-aided design and a virtual assembly task assessment programme to determine whether new car designs can be assembled without a significant risk of worker injury. Each new design concept is tested to ensure that it can be assembled efficiently and ergonomically.
The design system used by Ford Motor Company involves full-body motion capture with 50 motion capture markers placed on a person’s torso, back, legs and arms. After tracking the body postures that would be used to assemble a particular car model, ergonomists look at the information and identify positions that could cause joint and muscle strain. The car assembly routine is also used to identify positions that could cause workers to lose their balance.
When a worker is injured on the job, the lost working days that result from the injury could cause a financial hardship for the worker’s family. A solicitor may be able to assist an injured worker with the process of a claim for compensation and obtaining an interim payment to offset the immediate financial hardship. An injured worker can claim financial compensation for a work-related injury even if the injury did not cause them to miss work.