Need help conveying the impact of your ergonomic improvement ideas? Consider adding projected analysis to your process to clarify improvement ideas and quantify the potential MSD (musculoskeletal disorder) risk reduction.
A projected analysis involves applying improvement ideas to the results of a baseline ergonomic analysis to determine how implementing those improvements might affect the levels of MSD risk present in a job. A projected analysis will give you “could be” assessment scores you can use to compare different job assessments or a variety of improvement ideas for a single job assessment.
Your baseline analysis toolkit might include quantitative tools, like Humantech’s BRIEF™ Survey, the NIOSH Lifting Equation, or the Snook-Ciriello Push, Pull and Carry Guidelines. Also consider using qualitative tools, such as Humantech’s Ergonomics Hit List™. You’ll also need to generate and document a list of direct causes associated with the baseline results and brainstorm improvement ideas that might address those direct causes.
To complete a projected analysis, you can start with your baseline results, reducing or eliminating the MSD risk factors that your improvement ideas will address. Or, you can start with a “clean sheet” and envision how the job would be performed with the improvements in place. Either approach will prompt you to more closely examine your improvement ideas, and will yield realistic potential assessment scores to help decision makers see which improvements might yield the best results.
After changing the job, complete a follow-up analysis. Take the time to review the job as if it’s a brand new one so you can compare the results to those of your projected analysis. Have you overestimated or underestimated the risk reduction? Repeated cycles through this process, combined with a retrospective or review of all analyses, will lead to improved performance.