DENSO Sales California, Inc.

State: California
Company: DENSO Sales California, Inc., Long Beach, California
Industry: Air Conditioning Manufacturing - SIC Code: 35
Employees: 153
Success Brief:

Taking a proactive approach to ergonomics and safety helped this company achieve a twenty-seven percent reduction in recordable injuries between 1998 and 2000.

The Problem:

DENSO Sales California wanted to improve its ergonomics injury rate.

The Solution:

The company decided to move from a reactionary approach to safety and ergonomics issues, to a proactive stance to improve its ergonomics injury rate. DENSO hired an ergonomics consultant to train sixty of the its employees from management, human resources, engineers, maintenance workers and hourly workers about skill-based ergonomics concepts. The company had incorporated the Japanese concept of Kaizen (meaning "gradual, orderly and continuous improvement") into the workplace in the 1970's. The Kaizen concept focused on continuous improvement of the workplace by eliminating waste in all systems and processes. The ergonomics training was viewed as an effort to reduce "wasteful motion in work activities."

The trained employees began the ergonomics improvement process by conducting a formalized loss review, targeting high-risk work areas with a history of employee injury. DENSO used the consultant's outline to incorporate ergonomic improvements in the employee workstations, including creating templates and design standards that engineered out possible ergonomic problems and creating a common dialogue that allowed employees and management to clearly discuss ergonomics. The early involvement of management in the process ensured that management support for the program was consistent along the way.

The Impact:

DENSO experienced a significant reduction in recordable injuries while productivity increased in many of its production lines as a result of its ergonomics program.

  • Steve Karrington, Safety Manager, DENSO Sales California, Inc. (July 2003).