Webinar to cover exoskeleton use in construction

By Riley Simpson08 May 2023

The Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) is hosting a webinar titled, “An Overview of Exoskeleton use in Construction,” presented by Dr. Carisa Harris, PhD, CPE on Tuesday, May 9, at 11 a.m. CDT.

The event is free for SAIA members and $50 for non-members.

The presentation will review a five-year research project evaluating the effectiveness and efficacy of passive exoskeletons that provide support for workers’ backs and arms while performing strenuous tasks.

Those who register for this webinar online will receive a calendar invite with call in information.

Dr. Carisa Harris, PhD, CPE (Photo: SAIA)

Dr. Harris is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. She is the director of the Northern California Center of Occupational & Environmental Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley and the director of the UCSF/UCB Ergonomics Research & Graduate Training Program. She received her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and teaches a variety of classes including Occupational Biomechanics and Industrial Engineering Human Factors Design. Dr. Harris and her team perform research in a variety of areas focused on understanding and preventing work related injuries and improving human performance, productivity and health. Her epidemiological research assesses and adjusts for healthy worker survivor bias in the assessment of physical, personal and work psychosocial factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders and subsequent work disability.

Additionally, her team is developing a variety of exposure assessment devices (wearables) for primary and secondary prevention purposes and performs various intervention studies on occupational tasks with high risk of musculoskeletal injuries. The implementation of passive exoskeletons in the Construction Industry is an additional focus. The lab performs various types of research in the construction, computer, medical, hotel, janitorial, and manufacturing sectors. From a global health perspective, Dr. Harris collaborates on research assessing the impact of heavy load carrying among women in developing countries (such as Nepal, Tanzania and Ethiopia) on associated morbidity.

Dr. Harris Adamson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Tufts University. She then completed double Master in Physical Therapy and Exercise Physiology from the University of California at San Francisco and San Francisco State University. She developed a keen interest in Occupational Health through her work in various Occupational Medicine Clinics and eventually spent 10 years growing a company that provided Onsite Injury Treatment and Prevention Services to large, self-insured companies.

She returned to the University of California at Berkeley to receive a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences. Her dissertation work and post-doctoral assessed the relationship between personal, biomechanical risk factors and upper extremity disorders, adjusting for the healthy worker survivor effect.

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