Ergonomics done right.®
March 31st, 2015

Webinar Q & A – Five Ways to Get Buy-In for Ergonomics

We were happy to see such a great turnout at our most recent webinar, “5 Ways to Get Buy-In for Ergonomics.” Here are some of the questions you asked, along with responses by our presenter, James Mallon.

Q: Please review the 3 cost components of an ergonomics process, again. Thanks.

A: The three cost components are:

  1. Equipment: the money you spend on the stuff you need to make improvements. They could be equipment, tools or materials to build things to better align job expectations with human capabilities
  2. Knowledge: money spent on outside consulting or in training internal resources to complete risk assessments, develop improvement plans
  3. People Time: the value your team’s time spent on the tactical activities needed for your process.

Q: What are some steps we can take to transform our MSD reduction program into the sustainable ergonomics process you discuss?

A: In my experience, the key characteristics of sustainable ergonomics process are:

  1. Have executive sponsorship and involvement
  2. Follow Plan-Do-Check-Act and common approach through entire organization
  3. Frame as continuous improvement effort
  4. Measure progress through impact on risk , productivity, quality, and engagement
  5. Have information systems to support deployment, activities and reporting

Q: Can you revisit the distinction between the safety definition of ergonomics and the definition you gave of system design for optimal performance?

A: The safety definition speaks to safety stakeholders by linking the science of ergonomics to outcomes that are important to safety stakeholders (comfort and injury). It’s not wrong…my point is that it is limiting and fails to speak to the needs of all stakeholders. Broadening the definition serves you as you speak to stakeholders in finance, operations, human resources etc.

Q:  How does monitoring and measuring results after implementation relate to getting support and buy-in early on?

A: The key to getting your ergonomics process to be viewed as a business process is to measure and report on its progress like any other business process. Ultimately, you want to get credit for your hard work and demonstrate control over your processes success. Proactively reporting to your leadership team and stakeholders on your progress demonstrates that you are committed to implementing a sustainable process that delivers on its promises. It is impossible to demonstrate this without measuring progress, identifying gaps and developing plans to close those gaps or share best practices.

Q: What insight can you offer on setting up a designated database to help manage our ergonomic process? What technological features are most helpful?

A: Keys are that the system is easy to use, has people follow a common methods with common tools, and allows reporting of key metrics across the enterprise. A further need is that it helps sustain your process by offering training and resources that are useful to your teams.

Remember to download Humantech’s newest e-book on this topic for further details.