Ergonomics done right.®
April 21st, 2010

Bringing work home with me…


Contributed by Heather Crawford, CPE

Confession.  I can’t stop seeing opportunities to apply lean and ergonomic principles outside work. Does this happen to anyone else?  Outside your office or plant floor?  Perhaps you’ve visited an ice cream parlor recently and watched them bend and reach to scoop out the ice cream?

I may be positioning myself as an ergo-geek, but I commonly find myself thinking about ergonomics and lean principles outside of work.  Of course it doesn’t help when my family starts with the ergo-geek references so quickly, but I truly believe that ergonomics and lean thinking can and SHOULD be applied to everything.  Is your kitchen 5S’d?  Everything in its place? – sorted, shined, etc…?  I would think most kitchens are up to the 5S standards (or at least close), but what about your garage?  Wouldn’t it be much easier to work in it if it were up to 5S standards?

A quote I recently came across:

“The true benefits of lean thinking will only be fully realized when the entire enterprise adopts lean ideology” from Designed to Manage Lean Principles, an Epicor White Paper.

Great statement, probably nothing new.  But I think you could add more.  True benefits of lean thinking can be fully realized when it becomes habitual.  For something to become habitual, it must become embedded into us; instinctual.  So practicing lean and ergo at work and at home without even thinking about it.

So does anyone else have their closet 5S’d?  How else has or can lean or ergo be embedded into your life?  Is anyone else as freaky as I am about this?