Warehouse | Manufacturing | Small Business
Sauna and steam bath manufacturing company (‘the Company’)
Fanshawe College, London, Ontario (Student Project)
To provide recommendations for the unacceptable tasks to reduce MSD risk and additional recommendations for continuing improvement.
A force gauge was used to quantify task demands. Tasks were analyzed using U of M 3DSSPP software, Liberty Mutual tables, Arm Force Field, and RULA. Those deemed unacceptable were not suitable for a 25th percentile female and selected for further analysis. Analysis was performed using Humantech software to identify high-risk tasks using a risk priority score (RPS). These tasks included retrieving the door casing and heater guard, the sauna door, the heater, the box of rocks, and cutting wood.
Several recommendations were proposed and grouped into three viable options. After calculating the return on investments (ROI), which included the WSIB projected costs for the probable injuries noted, and considering the infrastructure of the warehouse, option three was ultimately proposed. The recommendations and the respective area of risk addressed are presented below.
MDF-wood flooring: reduce the risk of a fall
Stairclimbing trolly: remove soft tissue compression
Pallet dividers (hockey dryland tiles) + a carrying strap: improve posture and decrease force needed to retrieve box of rocks
Carrying belt system: improve posture
Job rotation: decreases repetition and prolonged standing, increases productivity.
If the Company utilizes the products recommended, they would reduce their RPS from 48 to 19 for the picking tasks, which would be within acceptable limits. If job rotation is implemented, the RPS for wood cutting would be reduced from 18 to 14.4. In the terms of job rotation, it was found that productivity increases by 5.4% which was incorporated into the ROI benefit (Mossa, 2015). The projected ROI was found to be 5318% and 663% for the picking and wood cutting tasks respectively.
Provided the Company with insights on areas of improvement. If recommendations are to be applied in the future, much of the risk of MSD would be mitigated.
The Company is based out of a small warehouse and thus lack of space was a limiting factor for recommendations. Company reported that the recommendations could not be applied at the time of assessment.
Recommendations are not limited to this industry. Several of the suggestions can be applied to differing warehouses and manual material handling tasks. Job rotation is also applicable to various fields, not only manufacturing. Methodology is not exclusive to manufacturing or warehouse environments.
Contact: Allison Stephens, MSc, CCPE, CPE
Professor and Coordinator, Advanced Ergonomics Studies
London, Ontario, Canada
Mossa, G., Boenzi, F., Digiesi, S., Mummolo, G., & Romano, V. A. (2016). Productivity and ergonomic risk in human based production systems: A job-rotation scheduling model. International Journal of Production Economics, 171, 471–477. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2015.06.017
Workers' compensation costs. Injury Facts. (2022, September 26). Retrieved December 11, 2022, from https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/costs/workers-compensation-costs/
WSIB Ontario Health and safety statistics. WSIB Ontario. (2022, October 31). Retrieved December 11, 2022, from https://safetycheck.onlineservices.wsib.on.ca/safetycheck/explore/provincial/SH_12/injurycharacteristics?lang=en
Keeping your team safe and healthy at work is good for business. WSIB's Health and Safety Excellence program provides a clear roadmap to improve safety in your workplace, whether you're just getting started or want to improve systems and processes you already have in place.
No matter how large or small your business is, the Health and Safety Excellence program can help. Connect with a WSIB-approved provider who can help you address your business’s unique health and safety challenges – and you can earn rebates for the work you do to improve your workplace health and safety.
Check out the Health and Safety Excellence Program website for more information on the program and the benefits.