Innovation That Matters

Manual labour backpack | Photo source Pixabay

Load-bearing backpack helps railway porters

Health & Wellbeing

This innovative backpack design helps reduce debilitating health repercussions for manual labourers.

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People use backpacks everyday and Springwise has followed various innovations designed to make them smarter. From this connected backpack to a geofence system to keep belongings safe, innovations to help consumers on the go are proving ever more popular. Yet similar ideas can also be applied to help those in the workplace. A student designer has considered how intelligent backpack design could help porters in India.

Rishabh Singh of IIT Bombay has designed the SAHAYAK to help railways porters reduce the strain when carrying heavy loads. These workers provide an essential role in moving luggage around Indian train stations, one of the busiest transportation areas in the world. Despite that, they are often badly paid and suffer from various health afflictions as a result of the physical strain of their work.

The backpack lessens the burden of the workers by equipping the porters with a backpack to transfer the load from the wearer’s head to his shoulders. This protects the spine and also reduces the likelihood of health complications. The design uses an inexpensive torsion spring that distributes the load throughout the backpack’s frame. In so doing, the load born by the user’s head and neck diminishes by 75 percent.

Such redistribution of weight could play a life-changing role for many manual workers. In this workplace, manual labour is unavoidable and breaks may be hard to come by. Changing the way the work is therefore key.

SAHAYAK is the latest in a line of Singh’s projects. It is currently still undergoing development but prototypes are underway.



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