Greenlee Lowers Incident Rate Through Engineering Involvement and Ergonomics Software
What started as a manufacturer of barrel-making tools in 1862, has expanded to be one of the world’s leading providers of industrial and electrical tools. Headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, Greenlee Textron’s innovative product design, manufacturing excellence, and customer satisfaction will keep it at the top of its industry well into the 21st century.
Being client-focused is just one reason the company has remained lucrative. The value it places on employee health and retention is another. “Our goal in the future is to continue to provide a safe work environment,” says Jeremy Jones, EHS Specialist. In 2014, the company’s eight North American plants began using The Humantech System®, a software-as-a-service solution for managing workplace ergonomics in production and assembly environments. Since implementation, the company has trained 150 employees, completed 285 ergonomics assessments, and finished 208 improvements.
To achieve those numbers, each of its plants was required to complete at least three assessments and improvements each month. “Prior to setting that standard in September of 2016, we realized our incident rate of musculoskeletal injuries was higher than we hoped; we don’t want any injuries. But, we’re human and our workforce is aging,” says Jones.
To make it easy to improve jobs and move the process forward, an ergonomics team, comprised of engineering, environmental health and safety, and production team members was established at each plant. “Getting engineering involved at the beginning of the ergonomics process is key. Their input and expertise is critical to designing a job and developing an automation process,” says Jones. The Humantech System’s Scorecard and Risk Priority Score data outputs have helped the team map out and prioritize which jobs to improve first. “If the data from a job assessment resulted in a green score, the job was good. If it was red, we had a problem,” says Jones. Knowing which jobs to improve first is half the battle.
“The Humantech System provides the visuals and direction to sustain our process into the future,” explains Jones. The company’s total incident rate (TIR) proves its process is moving forward. Since 2016, its TIR was reduced from 2.44 to 1.43, which represents a 42% reduction.