Ergonomics Improvement Inertia
Recently I facilitated a RAPID Team Event® at a manufacturing company. The format of these events is to train participants to identify ergonomic risk using Humantech’s Ergonomics Hit List®. This empowers the employees to quickly see ergonomic risk factors in the workplace. Once trained, the participants apply these principles to identify issues and brainstorm potential solutions. The solutions are aimed at being low cost and high impact. With some maintenance and facilities support, the solutions can be implemented in one or two days.
So we hit the floor. We all stood around a workstation watching the operator work. Interviewing the operator and identifying awkward postures and other ergonomic risks is the first (or “Find It”) step. Then came the “Fix It” part. This is where all momentum seemed to stall. The group turned to me and asked, “What can we do?” I gave them one or two ideas, and then I could see the light bulbs turn on! At that point, they were unstoppable. In fact, I had to limit the amount of improvement ideas at 40, reminding them that we actually had to follow through! It became very apparent to me that sometimes great ideas need to overcome inertia. And once they do…watch out, your workplace will never be the same!