Implementing an Enterprise - Wide Ergonomic Solution

We often see clients spending a lot of time and effort implementing solutions for a single workstation. Getting to this point usually involves evaluating several workstations and prioritizing them from high to low risk. You then work on that highest risk workstation and develop and implement solutions that will reduce the risk.

This approach makes complete sense but may not provide the largest return on your time and effort. Rather than focusing on a single workstation, look for the one or two solutions that can be deployed across an entire location or even across an entire organization. Examples include a standardized WIP cart that is used throughout a manufacturing facility, or a zero-gravity tool balancer that is implemented on every assembly station.

In our experience, the key to effectively implementing a solution enterprise wide is to pilot and test the solution prior to moving forward with implementation. We recommend taking the following approach:

  1. Develop the research design: the pilot should consider variables like job/task variability, environmental conditions, sample size, and workforce characteristics like handedness, gender, height, weight, and age.
  2. Data Collection: collect objective and subjective measurements to evaluate the effectiveness of the solution. Use instrumentation like force gauges, force sensors, EMG, motion capture, and psychophysical ratings (e.g. ratings of perceived exertion).
  3. Data Analysis: based on the research design, complete the appropriate statistical testing to determine whether results meet established significance.

Experimental design and statistics are sometimes difficult. Here at Atlas we have Six Sigma black belts on staff that can help you design pilots and test solutions prior to large-scale implementation.