Quad/Graphics Finds a Better Way to Manage Ergonomics
Founded in 1971 in Sussex, Wisconsin, Quad/Graphics is one of the largest commercial printers in the world. In 2010, the company acquired Worldcolor, then the second largest provider of print, digital, and related services in the Americas, greatly expanding their footprint.
Melissa Fish became the company’s corporate ergonomics lead in 2012. One of her goals was to implement an effective corporate-wide ergonomics process. She summarizes, “As a printing company, we needed to address material handling-related issues company-wide. The plants we acquired were at different stages of the ergonomics process, so we needed to standardize our program, increase communication, and develop an easy-to-follow method to reduce ergonomic risks on the production floor.”
In 2013, Fish and her team began to roll out The Humantech System®, which included e-learning, site assessment workshops led by Humantech ergonomists, and data management tools operated on an iPad. Fish found that this new system saved time over traditional classroom training and gave her team more time to make fixes alongside Humantech’s experts. She explains, “In this ‘flipped classroom’ model, our team first learned key concepts and tools online, and then spent the majority of the time out on the floor gaining the hands-on skills and confidence they needed to carry through with the ergonomics process. By the end of the workshop, they had already completed many assessments, determined root causes, and started making improvements.”
By the end of 2013, the system has been rolled out to four sites with an additional 11 sites planned for the following year. In one year, they conducted 48 assessments, generated 187 improvement ideas, and completed 32 fixes, with another 44 in process.