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New startup is building motion trackers to help warehouse workers minimize work-related injuries

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New startup supplies Walmart and Heineken with motion trackers to monitor warehouse workers in effort to minimize work-related injuries

  • Brooklyn-based startup Strongarm Technologies has created a monitoring device to help keep warehouse and factory workers safe
  • The device, called FUSE, attaches to a harness and monitors worker movements 
  • It will vibrate in warning when a worker makes an unsafe movement 

A Brooklyn-based tech startup has created a new motion tracking tool for factory and warehouse workers, which they claim will help minimize workplace injuries.

The FUSE system, developed by Strongarm Technologies Inc, is a smartphone-sized sensor that’s clipped into a harness worn by workers over the course of a full shift.

The device monitors their movements, including how far they bend, twist, and how rapidly they rise. 

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FUSE (pictured above) is a motion tracking system that monitors warehouse and factory worker movements using a device that clicks into a chest harness

FUSE (pictured above) is a motion tracking system that monitors warehouse and factory worker movements using a device that clicks into a chest harness

The device sends a vibration warning when it detects movements that might be unsafe. 

The device records data twelve and a half times per second and creates overall safety ratings, ranking a worker as a low, medium, or high injury risk. 

Strongarm claims the devices have a margin of error that’s less than five percent. 

The idea came from Strongarm CEO Sean Patterson, whose father was killed in the workplace when Patterson was just 14.

The FUSE collects data on workers twelve and a half times a second to build an overall safety profile of individual workers, ranking them as low, medium, or high injury risks

The FUSE collects data on workers twelve and a half times a second to build an overall safety profile of individual workers, ranking them as low, medium, or high injury risks

The FUSE device will vibrate forcefully to warn a worker when they are making what could be an unsafe movement

The FUSE device will vibrate forcefully to warn a worker when they are making what could be an unsafe movement

In an interview with Bloomberg, he said, ‘way, way too many things that could have happened that could have avoided that, if people were just more aware.’

The company says it has over 20 clients, including Walmart, Heineken, and Toyota, and is aiming to have its devices used by 35,000 workers by the end of the year.

WHAT IS FUSE?

The FUSE sensor is a smartphone-sized motion tracker that clicks into a harness worn by warehouse and factory workers.

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It collects data on a warehouse or factory worker’s movements throughout the day and assigns them a safety ranking. 

The sensor sends a warning vibration to the worker if it senses a motion that might elevate their risk of injury.

FUSE was developed by Brooklyn-based startup Strongarm Technologies.

Strongarm claims FUSE is currently used by 20 clients, including Walmart, Heinekn, and Toyota. 

Strongarm encourages its clients to think of blue collar workers as ‘industrial athletes’ and pitches FUSE as something akin to what a professional athlete might use to enhance their performance.

‘Not only does the device identify when they’re doing something risky,’ COO Matt Norcia says in a demo video for the device, ‘we can use that data to evaluate the risks that they come in contact with and make smarter, more precise safety decisions.’

‘We can also communicate why we’re making those decisions and give them essentially a dashboard of their performance and safety over time in the same way that a coach might help a professional athlete.’

Some workers were less than enthused about using Strongarm’s tracking devices. 

Adam Kaszynski, a union rep for IUE-CWA 201 and former worker in a factor that used Strongarm devices, disliked having all his movements at work tracked.

‘I tried to convince everyone not to do it,’ Kaszynski told Bloomberg.

‘It’s creepy as hell. They have no business knowing that information.’

 

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