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Success with Ergonomics
Xandex, Inc.

 
State: California
   
Company: Xandex Inc.
Petaluma, California
   
Industry: Semiconductor test and assembly solutions - SIC Code: 3674
   
Employees: 75

 
Success Brief: The company reduced its incidence of musculoskeletal disorders and the related Experience Modification rate.
 

The Problem
 
In 1993, 28 percent of Xandex's workforce experienced work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to the repetitive assembly of small parts in the company's manufacturing section. Repetitive injuries from excessive computer use also afflicted the administration and engineering staff.

The Solution
 
Xandex obtained technical assistance from its insurance carrier, brought in ergonomics specialists to evaluate the workplace, and quickly began to identify and eliminate hazards. The company took on great expense by purchasing high-end ergonomic chairs for everyone and investing in new tools, which helped to reduce the physical stress of some assemblies. A few sub-assemblies were contracted out to limit the burden on production. The company immediately educated everyone and encouraged prompt reporting of symptoms, accommodated injured employees with modified work, and instituted appropriate rest breaks involving stretches and outdoor walks. Offering work station/posture evaluations, providing on-line resources, and encouraging safety awareness and ergo participation at quarterly company meetings have also helped to involve everyone in prevention and proactive response to early signs of possible repetitive motion injuries.

The Impact
 
The company gradually managed to lower its worker compensation experience modifier, which helped in reducing its premium, as well as keeping the company qualified as a viable client to workers’ compensation insurance carriers.

 
Source: Shadi Shamsavari, Director of HR/Safety, Xandex, Inc. (October 2002).
 
 
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