The redesign of workstation layouts, improvement of racking and storage, and reevaluation and replacement of certain tools led to a significant decrease in incident frequencies and lost time cases caused by musculoskeletal disorders.
Four years before it launched a new series of trucks at its Springfield Assembly Plant, International Truck and Engine set goals to decrease or eliminate ergonomic risks and other potential problems associated with production, while at the same time increasing the facility's productivity and efficiency.
Before the launch of the new product line, management, production employees and safety and health representatives worked together in teams to redesign the workspaces. The employees raised concerns during workshops involving cross-functional teams that included skilled trades employees, line supervisors, maintenance supervisors, safety and ergonomics representatives, upper management representatives, and production line employees. During the workshops, the team members learned about ergonomic risk factors, the importance of workplace organization and set up, and various safety procedures to be used in their workplace. As part of the redesign, the company:
By involving employees in the redesign process, the company was able to utilize the employees' own expertise in their work area to design workstations that resulted in a significant reduction in the frequency of injuries and in cases resulting in lost work time. This has led to an increase in job satisfaction, greater productivity and a decrease in workplace hazards.
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