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Keeping Safety Close to the Heart – Why StrongArm’s FUSE Sits on Your Torso

When we at StrongArm talk with a prospective customer, inevitably, the question comes up:

“Can I leave this sensor in my pocket or does it need to clip into the StrongArm harness?”

It’s a great question, and the answer is always the same: In order to collect valid and actionable data, you need to wear the StrongArm Sensor as intended – clipped into the chest harness.

The core of StrongArm’s FUSE platform is data. If the data isn’t accurate, the whole platform falls apart. Accurate data allows StrongArm to:

  • Provide real-time feedback to Industrial Athletes™ in order to prevent injuries on the shop floor
  • Provide Industrial Athletes™ their daily Safety Scores to work on improving their safety performance
  • Streamline Safety Managers operations and insight into safety on site
  • Correlate productivity numbers to predictive safety data, opening up a new realm to create operational efficiencies
  • Create leading instead of lagging indicators for insurers who evaluate works comp policies

If we placed the sensor anywhere else, these impacts would not be possible.

The reality of almost all ergonomics risk assessments is that large torso kinematics like flexion, twist, and lateral movements are required to predict risk of soft-tissue injury. The only way we could accurately collect the key metrics that predict risk of injury was by putting the FUSE sensor on the torso.

During product design, we tested sensors in all sorts of positions. We tried a sensor you can leave in your pocket, a sensor that snaps on to your belt, a sensor that snaps on your hard hat or collar, and even a sensor that could be built into your shoe (yes, this is a company of dreamers). No other position can accurately assess.

  • When we put the sensor on in our pockets, leg motions dominate, and trunk motions are not captured.
  • When we put the sensor on our belt, hip motions cause inaccurate readings of the torso, and cannot differentiate between safe squatting and more risky forward bending.
  • When we put the sensor on our hardhat, the flexibility of the neck causes torso motion readings to be skewed.
  • And when we put the sensor on our collar, the feedback elements of the Sensor are too close to the user’s face and interfere more with their daily tasks.
  • Don’t even get us started with what happened when we put the sensor in our shoes.

With these constraints, the harness position on the torso is the optimal for reading these values. But, keep in mind, the Harness doesn’t need to be worn too tightly. You can loosen it so there are at least two fingers of room between the body and the harness. If you hunch over and feel tension on the harness or feel your shirt riding up when reaching overhead, chances are you have it on too tight and should loosen the harness around the velcro torso clip.

With this wearable location, StrongArm has achieved a measurement accuracy of within 5% to existing risk measurement methods through testing conducting in conjunction with North Carolina State University’s Ergonomics lab. This would simply not be possible with any other location.

StrongArm puts data integrity above all else. We’re not here to feed Industrial Athletes™ metrics that mean nothing. We’re here to give them data that prevents injuries and gets them home safely. We’re here to keep industrial athletes™ Proud Protected and Productive. And it starts by us collecting all the key information. It starts by keeping safety close to the heart.

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StrongArm Technologies | Blog

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