PRETORIA, Gauteng – Engineers from Jaguar Land Rover are working on the next generation of protective workplace clothing – in this case a light 3D-printed glove which could help to protect employees from the threat of musculoskeletal damage.
The 3D glove is intended to be used by workers on production lines, for example those required to fit clips or fasteners into the chassis during the assembly of Jaguar and Land Rover products.
Musculoskeletal disorders include more than 100 conditions and make up about 30% workplace injuries that result in time off and account for 30% of compensation payments. ”Musculoskeletal disorders,” JLR adds, ”affect an estimated 10% of the global population, rising to as much as 40% in certain industries.”
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Engineers at JLR’s Gaydon plant, home to one of the UK’s largest 3D printing facilities, saw an opportunity to use the company’s advanced manufacturing expertise to design and 3D-print a lattice-style structure to reduce muscle fatigue through an eight-hour shift. The team is now working on a second-generation prototype which will include a polymer foam pad to absorb impacts – such as when fitting parts such as door casings using the palm of the hand.
JLR’s Chris Noble told The Corner in a media releasse: “The health and well-being of our workforce is a priority. Technology such as the gloves let us use the world-leading equipment we have in-house to protect workers’ hands.”
The programme, JLR says, is part of a ‘Destination Zero’ safety vision.