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Innovations Reduce Incident Rates at the Timken Company

What started as a family-owned business in 1899 is now a global company with more than $3 billion in sales. With approximately 14,000 employees operating from 28 countries, Timken engineers, manufactures and markets bearings, transmissions, gearboxes, chain and related products, and offers a spectrum of powertrain rebuild and repair services.

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Knowing which jobs to fix first is half the battle. A prioritized list helps to keep things on track. Now that we’ve eliminated or reduced all the ’easy’ risks, we are focused on improving more of our complex jobs.

Robert Scott, Principal Ergonomics Engineer

Timken Principal Ergonomics Engineer, Robert Scott, set an initiative five years ago to redesign the ergonomics process. Each plant is required to assess all of its jobs using Humantech’s Ergonomics Hit List® and reduce its ergonomics risk factors each year by 20 percent.

“Our current metrics require at least three innovative improvements annually at each plant. These projects must demonstrate ergonomic risk reduction and cost savings, but often yield improved associate morale, attendance, product quality and return on investment,” explains Scott.

The company transitioned to The Humantech System® in March 2015 and has already implemented The Humantech System at 34 plants in 11 countries.  The online assessment and risk management tool is helping them achieve their metrics.

The company’s incident rate is now at an all-time low due, in part, to its ergonomics process. “When we rolled out The Humantech System and the quantitative assessment tools, it was required that we quantify and reduce MSD risks on all high-priority jobs identified through the initial screening tool.  The Humantech System helps us rank our risks so we can target high-priority jobs,” says Scott. Timken continues to meet its metrics completing more than 200 assessments this year with 142 improvements in progress.