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PepsiCo, Frito-Lay Tap Wearables to Cut Workforce Injuries

Bakery seen as having most dangerous working postures per individual

Callum Cyrus

October 21, 2021

1 Min Read

PepsiCo deployed a smart, wearable device to thousands of workers in 34 of its Frito-Lay manufacturing plants and now is seeing results by reduced productivity losses caused by incorrect working postures.

The connected technology reduced sprain injuries and strain by 19%, according to a study by Kinetic, supplier of the Reflex wearable.

Employees are prompted when they perform a risky maneuver, and the data collected from the workforce is intended to help identify hotspots for posture-related injuries.

In the initial roll out, the smart brace picked out bakery processing as having the most incorrect postures per individual. Employees in this area made 33 repetitive twists and bends each day, with the highest risk associate incurring 88 such movements in a day.

“We’ve always done all the traditional ergo work, but there has been something missing,” said Cormac Gilligan, vice president of global environment, health and safety at PepsiCo. “We weren’t able to tap into that behavioral element to create a sense of ownership in the individual employee and help them behave posturally in a different way.”

More than 67% of lost hours caused by injuries are expected to be removed from the Frito-Lay operation within two financial quarters of the new technology’s deployment, according to Kinetic.

The wearable device data can also be leveraged to inform purchasing decisions, retrofit equipment and reshape workspace environments to further reduce ergonomic risks.

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