Has your company implemented Lean or Ergonomics? Or, is your company more forward thinking and knew that both systems are best done in tandem and tried to implement them at the same time? How successful have you been?
In part two of this blog series I gave an overview of Lean. Now we’re moving onto the second component of L.E.S.S.™ which is Ergonomics.
Ergonomics (synonymous with Human Factors) Defined
In part one of this blog series I went over the case for integrating two common and two not as common methodologies for business systems improvement: Lean, Ergonomics, Six Sigma and Systems Thinking. Although most are probably familiar with all four of them I think it’s worthwhile to spend a blog on each one in order to highlight their definition and purpose, common tools and uses.
In my last blog I wrote about my recent experience at the Applied Ergonomics Conference where there were sessions devoted to stretching programs. In it I stated how ergonomics is not stretching. This time I’m going to focus on time, i.e. money, spent stretching and the ergonomics that could be accomplished if that time, i.e. money, was given to ergonomics.
I was in Orlando, FL last week for the Applied Ergonomics Conference. I had the privilege to present as well as attend other sessions and the exhibit hall. To my disappointment there were sessions that promoted stretching programs in the workplace as a form of applied ergonomics. Am I the only one who found this to be the antithesis of ergonomics? The purpose and focus of ergonomics is to design the work and work environment to fit the people and the machines they use and systems wherein they function. An oft used cliché of ergonomics is to “fit the work to the person”. If this is the
In the Kelby Ergo Design February newsletter I wrote a feature called “What’s the Brain Got To Do With It?” In it I gave an example of an incident that occurred at a transportation company. A driver with over 5 years’ experience was involved in an accident where he was struck by another vehicle coming through an intersection when he was making a left turn. The operations manager completed the incident investigation and came to the conclusion that his driver was a fault and the driver “should’ve seen it coming”.
“What’s the Brain Got to Do With It?” The answer in one word would be EVERYTHING! How many times have you written the best policies and procedures, trained employees on the proper way to do things and provided them the right tools and equipment for them to do their job safely and efficiently and yet they still don’t do what they were trained to do or as one safety manager said to me, “it’s like his brain just stopped working!” Let me tell you right now that your employees were thinking…just not thinking in the way you expect them to think. Stop banging your head against wall wondering “how could he/she/they have been so stupid” or “what happened to their common sense” or “s/he should’ve seen it coming” and use your Brain to make the job fit their Brain (actually it’s the same Brain I’m just assuming that if you’re reading this you are in charge of or involved in making the work happen).