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Industrial Ergonomics Program Management

Implementation of a sitewide ergonomics program at a multinational company.

Expert Evaluation and Program Management to Improve Employee Well-being

In 2020, a metallurgical production facility for a multinational chemical company experienced an increase in ergonomic related injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Several key factors contributed to these issues, including outdated design of operations and equipment, new equipment and processes being implemented without consideration of ergonomic design principles and an aging workforce.

The site EHS manager contacted TRC to provide an experienced employee with relevant ergonomic certifications to assist. TRC provided implementation and management of a comprehensive sitewide ergonomics program. Qualitative baseline evaluations were conducted for over 125 tasks and processes occurring in all areas of the facility. Each task was categorized as “low,” “medium” or “high” for ergonomic risk, taking into consideration factors such as force, posture, frequency and duration. The results of the evaluations were reviewed, and risk priority ratings were generated. Using the ratings, comprehensive evaluations were then conducted in order of prioritized risk.

Evaluations Included:

  • Interviewing operators and supervisors
  •  Collecting and analyzing video and photographs of
  • Conducting measurements of forces, weights and
    distances using specialized ergonomic
    evaluation analytical tools and devices
  • Utilizing of a variety of quantitative analysis tools to
    generate ergonomic risk scores
  • Evaluating existing equipment design
  • Providing input on purchase or install of new
    equipment to reduce ergonomic risk
  • Reducing and eliminating unnecessary,
    repetitive and/or redundant tasks

Following implementation of controls and improvements, TRC provided follow-up assessments to verify and document risk reduction.

Over the course of a year, TRC provided comprehensive industrial ergonomics evaluations throughout the plant, identifying more than 125 recommended actions and/or improvements. The work provided by TRC contributed to:

  • Improved employee overall physical and mental
  • Increased production levels and decreased
  • Elimination of ergonomic and safety hazards
  • Encouragement of safety culture and personal
    wellness with employees

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