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Success with Ergonomics
Advanced Filtration Systems, Inc.

State: Illinois
Company: Advanced Filtration Systems Inc.
Industry: Manufacture of Diesel Engine Filters SIC Code: 3599
NAICS Code: 336339
Employees: 164

Success Brief: Redesign of the Roving Strand Application Machine substantially reduced the amount of manual handling previously required of the machine’s operators, thereby significantly reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

The Problem
Operators of the Roving Strand Application Machine (See Picture #1 below of the old model machine) were required to manually handle the pre-roved filter elements using a pinch grip and over-extension of the wrist rotation. This resulted in an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Operation of the machine also presented some measure of other (non-ergonomic) injury risks, such as falling from the stairway used to access the operator’s work platform, eye injury from exposure to UV glare, and injury from moving parts. Although no injuries were reported as a result of this process, the company took a proactive approach to reduce these injury and MSD risks.

Roving Strand Application Machine

The Solution

The Roving Strand Application Machine’s operating systems were redesigned so that less manual handling is required throughout the machine operation process, reducing the potential for MSDs (See Picture #2 below of the new model machine). In addition, all of the machine’s operating systems are now on floor level, and the machine has improved localized guarding (including a UV-resistant Lexan enclosure with interlocked doors), thus reducing the risk of other (non-ergonomic) injuries.

Roving Strand Application Machine

The Impact
Less manual handling has substantially reduced the risk of MSDs during the operation of the Roving Strand Application Machine. Moreover, redesign of the machine has significantly reduced the potential for injuries from falls, moving parts, and UV glare.

Source: Mr. Richard Jesse, Associate Environmental Engineer, Advanced Filtration Systems, Inc. (October 2003).
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