“Enthusiastic” and “motivated” are two words used to describe participants in an ergonomics training class. After a class, participants are usually excited to roll up their sleeves and get to work on reducing their site’s WMSD injury rate. Two months after the training, the two words can sometimes turn to “deflated” and “discouraged”. This often stems from fighting an uphill battle to use the tools learned during the training course. Here are some tips to stay focused and motivated.
- Create an ergonomics team and schedule bi-monthly or monthly meetings. Define the roles and responsibilities of every member of the ergonomics team. In the meeting, work to develop realistic goals and ensure there are resources, time, and a budget to fulfill the goals. If not, modify the goals and take smaller steps to achieve them.
- Communicate the team’s goals and plans to achieve those goals with on-site leaders (e.g. plant manager, group leads, team leads, supervisors). Modify the plans, if necessary.
- Work to understand ergonomic risk across the facility. Map levels of risk based on the tools learned during the training to help understand where to start and what types of countermeasures are required.
- Create a plan to implement countermeasures and follow up on completed activities.
This is obviously simplifying things, but for the most part, completing these steps will move you in the right direction. Remember that ergonomics is about continuous improvement and your job will not be completed within 3 or 6 months. Your environment is always changing and so will the plans and goals set out by the ergonomics team. The key is to be flexible and adjust accordingly.