Efficient Plant May 2018 - 35

department | on the floor

ing these changes becomes even more important.
In a study that I performed on skilled trades
regarding lower-back problems, the number of
lower-back medical visits increased with age. In
a NIOSH Mining Industry study (National Institute for Occupant Safety and Health, Washington, cdc.gov/niosh), most older injured workers
had the highest number of days lost per injury.
NIOSH recommends further accommodations
for aging workers regarding physical demands
(including static muscular work), lifting and
carrying, repetitive movements, and awkward
postures.
With all of these aging-related physical and
cognitive changes, being proactive with additional ergonomic considerations is key to preventing
injuries and long-term business success. In 2014,
OSHA estimated that work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the United States accounted
for more than 600,000 injuries and illnesses.
This was 34% of all lost workdays reported to
the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington (bls.
gov). These disorders account for one out of every
three dollars spent on worker compensation. In
2016, OSHA reported that sprains, strains, and
tears accounted for 30% days-away-from-work
cases in manufacturing.

MUSCULOSKELETAL FACTORS
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs ) involve the
muscles, nerves, and tendons, and are also referred to as CTDs (cumulative-trauma disorders).
Work-related MSDs, including those of the
neck, upper extremities, and lower back, are one
of the leading causes of lost workdays. Workers
in many different industries and occupations can
be exposed to risk factors such as lifting heavy
items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and
pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body
postures, and repetitively performing tasks.
Exposure to these known MSD factors increases
a worker's risk of injury.
Many manufacturing facilities have been

MAY 2018

applying ergonomics concepts on the plant floor,
for safety and to help sustain a level of productivity. My studies show a linear relationship between
good ergonomics and reduced absenteeism. In
turn, higher absenteeism was related to greater
quality defects (this relationship was curvilinear,
meaning that quality defects increased at a faster
rate, with increasing absenteeism). Safety and ergonomics go hand in hand and, addressed properly and consistently, will result in a workforce
that shows up and produces quality product.
More than 35 years ago, I was on a team that
put together the initial ergonomics process for
General Motors. Today, there are many more
technological and interactive capabilities available. Just a few examples are ergonomic gloves
to increase grip strength, scanners on gloves to
minimize repetitive movement, unique mechanical assists, and ergonomic clothing. Also, when in
Germany in 2017, I noticed that one grocery store
had attached magnifying glasses to all of their
food carts to accommodate aging customers.
Operations of the future will win at the
plant-floor level. Ergonomics can support various
initiatives, such as design for manufacturing,
minimizing physical stress, improving decision
making to reduce defects, and improved machinery and equipment maintainability. EP

Harnesses and other personal-protection equipment provide needed
safety but can also introduce
ergonomic factors that must be
addressed, particularly for trades
personnel.

EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

35


http://www.cdc.gov/niosh http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant May 2018

Editorial
Implementations
Six Steps That Cut Costs
Educating Work-REady Students
Revisiting Benefits Of A CMMS
Lube Safety Comes In Threes
SAP: What Does This SAP Error Mean?
Are Your Electrical Workers Qualified?
Is Your Site Susceptible To Cyber Threats?
Pinpoint Funny Motor-Ground Currents
Properly Select Pressure-Relief Valves
On The Floor
Solution Focus
Products
Index
Showcase
Seeking Reliability
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Cover1
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Cover2
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 1
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 2
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 3
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 4
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 5
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Editorial
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 7
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Implementations
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 9
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Six Steps That Cut Costs
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 11
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 12
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 13
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 14
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 15
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Educating Work-REady Students
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 19
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 20
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 17
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 18
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 19
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 20
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 21
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Revisiting Benefits Of A CMMS
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 23
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 24
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 25
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Lube Safety Comes In Threes
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 27
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 28
Efficient Plant May 2018 - SAP: What Does This SAP Error Mean?
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Are Your Electrical Workers Qualified?
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Is Your Site Susceptible To Cyber Threats?
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Pinpoint Funny Motor-Ground Currents
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Properly Select Pressure-Relief Valves
Efficient Plant May 2018 - On The Floor
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 35
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Solution Focus
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 37
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 38
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 39
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Products
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 41
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 42
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 43
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 44
Efficient Plant May 2018 - 45
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Index
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Showcase
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Seeking Reliability
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Cover3
Efficient Plant May 2018 - Cover4
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