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Unformatted text preview: Presented at: Association of Canadian Ergonomists Annual Conference, Hull, Quebec, 1999 Roles and Relationships for Making Ergonomics Change: Results of a 2-Day focus session with industry personnel W.P. Neumann * , R. Wells, R. Norman, B. Jeans, D. Dubblestyne, H. Harvey and O. Peter Ergonomics Initiative in Injury Prevention Faculty of Applied Health Sciences University of Waterloo Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1 A series of group focus sessions were held with both union and management representatives who were involved in ergonomics programs in a number of different manufacturing facilities. This paper summarises the participant comments on important components of ergonomics programs. 1. Introduction & Methods Focus groups are a useful approach to identifying and capturing the information, knowledge, and experiences of a group of individuals on a particular topic of interest. A series of three focus group sessions were held over the course of a 2 day ergonomics workshop held at the University of Waterloo. This workshop was held as part of the Ergonomics Initiative in Injury Prevention; a joint initiative between the University of Waterloo, General Motors of Canada, The Woodbridge Group, and A.G. Simpson Ltd. These sessions were attended by 42 people involved in ergonomics in the participating companies including both worker and management representatives. Each focus group session addressed a different aspect of the practice of ergonomics in industrial environments. The first session addressed objectives within the organisation which need to be considered and accommodated in a successful change attempt. The second session focussed on the various stakeholders and their possible roles in the ergonomics process. The third session addressed specific issues related to making change happen in these industrial environments. For each session three separate groups were formed and each group dealt with the same issues. The results were then collated and summarised. 2. Organizational Goals & Ergonomics Ergonomics could affect the plant beyond just its health and safety operations and could benefit the manufacturing plant in the following aspects: 2.1 Quality - An ergonomically designed workstation would allow the worker to pay more attention to monitoring quality than to performing the operations. If an individual is working in pain, or struggling to keep up with an operation, then he/she is less likely to be as concerned with quality and more likely to make errors which result in decreased quality. Common problems may be decreased identification of quality issues, damaged or mishandled parts, and increased re- work costs. Operations with high absenteeism may also be forced to use replacement workers who are not as familiar with the operations or the quality control issues in their new workstation 2.2 Health & Safety - Ergonomic principles can be used to control injuries resulting from physical loading on the job and to help injured workers return to work by controlling the physical...
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- Winter '12
- Occupational safety and health, Applied Health Sciences, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, ERGONOMIC INITIATIVE Faculty