On-Site Magazine

“Robocops” to assist Atwill-Morin jobsite workers

By Adam Freill   

Concrete Construction Health & Safety

Masonry, concrete and scaffolding company has invested in exoskeletons to be deployed on some of its construction sites.

The weight of a load can be reduced by up to 8 to 10 times. (CNW Group/Atwill-Morin Group)

Atwill-Morin, a provider of masonry, concrete and scaffolding services with operations in Quebec and Ontario, has just taken a leap forward in health and safety for its employees. The company has acquired a dozen exoskeletons that will gradually make their appearance on the company’s worksites, particularly in the Quebec City and Capitale Nationale regions, including on the site of a well-known hotel in the neighbourhood of Old Quebec.

CEO Matthew Atwill-Morin says that his company saw potential for the technology as his workers have to negotiate with heavy loads, repeatedly, in the deployment of their tasks and work techniques. He says the external help, which is capable of lightening the work of the company’s masons and labourers while supporting their whole bodies, is a game changer.

“This innovation implies a change of culture among our troops, in so far as, at a time when the health and safety of workers is becoming a major issue, we had to find an unprecedented solution to an equally special challenge,” he explained, adding that the challenges of masonry and site work require particular attention to the health and well-being of the company’s human capital, which is its main asset.

The use of these units, which some have likened to imitating the movie character, Robocop, helps to eliminate pressure on the body’s limbs, particularly the knees, as well as the weight of the loads, helping to distribute the weight and protecting the body’s joints more evenly. The systems significantly reduce the risk of injury and accidents in the workplace.


The exoskeleton fits each worker perfectly. (CNW Group/Atwill-Morin Group)

Committed to the health and safety of its site employees, Atwill-Morin said that his company believes that one of the primary responsibility of companies is to offer employees the ability to relieve awkward postures and pain associated with repetitive movements in all sectors of activity, from materials handling to construction.

In addition to reducing musculoskeletal disorders, the company anticipates that the exoskeletons will ultimately enable significant improvements in human performance and productivity as well. By speeding up the pace or increasing workers’ strength almost tenfold, the equipment enables workers’ movements to unfold smoothly, taking on around 70 per cent of the load being handled.




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