Cardinal Health Avoids $1 Million in Workers’ Compensation Costs with Ergonomics
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. is a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, providing customized solutions for hospitals, health systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories, and physician offices worldwide.
In 2012, ergonomics became one of Cardinal Health’s priorities when 50 percent of its recordable injuries were found to have resulted from cumulative trauma and manual material handling incidents (lifting, lowering, and carrying).
After analyzing its ergonomics process, the company found that it lacked three key elements. Greg Dowler, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, explains: “First, we had minimal knowledge and training in ergonomics. Second, we lacked a standard approach to evaluating the risk involved in manual material handling. And third, our metrics were tied to lagging indicators (rate of injuries and illnesses resulting from musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) risk factors), not leading ones.”
In 2013, the company partnered with Humantech because it had the tools to build the elements they lacked. “When The Humantech System was launched, we were excited that the online tool could expedite our process,” says Dowler.
With the System, employees build knowledge fast. Cardinal Health’s employees complete online training courses at their convenience. “A new employee doesn’t have to wait to attend the next in-person training course. He or she can be trained in the first week of work, and be on the shop floor the next,” explains Dowler.
Employees then work alongside a Humantech ergonomist during in-person job improvement workshops on the shop floor. After assessing jobs and tasks, employees use the results to begin implementing improvements.
The assessment results and related improvements are compiled in an easy-to-share summary report. “This provides a nice snapshot of the job improvement,” says Dowler. “Before” and “after” photos, descriptions of the solution(s), the follow-up analysis, and summary notes demonstrate their progress and successes. “If a plant has a good solution, we can easily share it,” says Dowler. He also likes the Scorecard report. “It’s my favorite report because it tracks the distribution of risk across all workstations and tasks assessed, as well as the percent reduction of MSD risk related to the solutions implemented.”