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Developing an effective Ergonomics Program 2/00 SJG
Welcome! Getting around Ground rules Introductions Workshop goals: 1. Understand that there is NO formal rule on ergonomics at this time. 2. Identify the primary components of an effective ergonomics program. ©2003 Steven J. Geigle. All rights reserved. This material, or any other material used to inform employers of compliance requirements of OSHA standards through simplification of the regulations should not be considered a substitute for any provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 or for any standards issued by OSHA. The information in this publication is intended for training purposes only.
Form Groups • Introductions - Get to know your NEIGHBOR! • Elect a group leader • Select a spokesperson • Recorders
THE BIG PICTURE • Safety & Health Management (Program) System • Inputs Processes Outputs • Inputs = Resources • Processes = Activities • Outputs= Conditions, Behaviors, Results
What does a successful ergonomics program look like? • Experts, research literature, and corporate officials generally agree that effective ergonomics programs must have the following core set of elements to ensure that ergonomic hazards are identified and controlled to protect workers: • Management commitment • Employee involvement • Identification of problem jobs • Development of solutions (that is, controls) for problem jobs • Training and education for employees • Appropriate medical management • Evaluation of the program
Although most ergonomics programs display each of these elements, there is often significant variety in how they are implemented. • This variety typically results from factors such as differences in: • The facilities’ industries and product line, • Corporate culture, and • Experiences during the programs’ evolution. • The processes used to identify and control problem jobs in successful ergonomics programs were typically: • Informal and simple • Generally involved a lower level of effort • Did not typically require significant investment or resources and did not drastically change the job or operation.
Successful ergonomics programs yield real long-term benefits, including: • Reductions in workers’ compensation costs associated with MSDs. • Reductions in overall injuries and illnesses. • Reductions in the number of days injured employees were out of work, however, the number of restricted workdays may increase as a result of an increased emphasis on bringing employees back to work. • Improved worker morale, productivity, and product quality.
A World-Class Safety & Health Program • Seven Critical Components • 1. Top Management Commitment • 2. Labor & Management Accountability • 3. Employee Involvement • 4. Hazard Identification & Control • 5. Incident/Accident Investigation • 6. Education and Training • 7. Periodic Evaluation
Element 1: TOP MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT Attributes of “Proactive Ergonomics” I. “Tough-caring” Safety Leadership How does management demonstrate leadership in ergonomics? What is the test for commitment? Time MoneyCommunications
II. Supportive cultural values What must we do to assure employees feel comfortable reporting symptoms? How does early reporting benefit the employee and the company? II. Diligent safety management Who might be best suited to “work” the ergonomics program daily? Who might best monitor, evaluate and improve the program? IV. Sound safety engineering Why are engineering controls desired over work practice or administrative controls?
What are the consequences of an accident? Direct - Insured Costs “Just the tip of the iceberg” Indirect Uninsured, hidden Costs - Out of pocket 1. Human Tragedy 2. Morale 3. Reputation Unknown Costs -
$ A F E T Y P A Y S ! OSHA Advisor - www.osha.gov
2. Labor & Management Accountability • Five essential components of an effective accountability system • 1. Established formal standards of behavior and performance • 2. Resources provided to meet those standards • 3. An effective system of measurement • 4. Appropriate application of effective consequences • 5. Continual evaluation of the system
Management/Employee Accountability Manager Provide resources for a safety and healthful workplace Provide effective safety education and training Provide adequate supervision Provide positive and negative consequences Employee Comply with company safety policies, rules Report injuries immediately Report hazards as soon as possible What are the resources needed for an effective ergonomics program?
When is a supervisor justified? Before you discipline, ask: Complied myself Provided the resources Provided the training Provided the oversight Provided consequences Have I _____________________________ ? Have I _____________________________? Have I _____________________________? Have I _____________________________? Have I _____________________________ ? Management must fulfill its own accountabilities FIRST!
XYZ Incorporated Roles and Responsibilities • Injured Employee • Supervisor • Occupational Health Nurse (OHN) • Ergonomics Engineer • Physician
3. Employee Involvement • Ergonomic problems typically require a response that cuts across a number of organizational units. • Safety staff Health care providers Supervisors • Managers Engineering Maintenance • Human resources Specialists • How can each of these functions contribute to the success of an ergonomics program? • Why is it important for employers to encourage employees to report symptoms and signs of MSDs early? • What message does management send to employees when it sets up conflicting pressures between working safely and production?
Some of the ways in which employee involvement can be demonstrated include: • • Creating committees or teams • • Establishing a procedure to encourage prompt and accurate reporting • • Undertaking campaigns to solicit employee reports • Administering periodic surveys
4. Hazard Identification & Control • Four elements in the ergonomics program support this element of the safety and health system. Identifying risk factors, controlling risk factors, implementing control measures, and medical management. • Identifying risk factors • What are some methods to gather information and analyze ergonomics hazards in your workplace? • Some signs of potential risk factors and problem jobs. • OSHA Form 200 logs or workers compensation claims • worker complaints • frequent references to physical aches and pains • at risk activities
Other sources that could alert employers to potential problems include the following: • Trade publications, insurer newsletters, or references in popular literature indicating risks of MSDs • Cases of MSDs found among competitors or in similar businesses • Proposals for increasing line speed, retooling, or modifying jobs to increase individual worker output and overall productivity • Following up on Worker Reports • Criteria for an effective reporting system include:. • Identification of at least one person to receive and respond to employee reports, and to take the action this standard requires. • Prompt response to employee reports of MSD signs or symptoms. • Screening for Risk Factors • Walk-through observational surveys • Interviews with workers and supervisors • Checklists
Physical risk factors include: • Awkward postures Forceful exertions • Repetitive motions Duration of exposure • Frequency of exposure Contact stresses • Vibration Other conditions
Psychosocial Risk Factors • If we believe we have little control over job demands, we may suffer from abnormal (negative) distress with accompanying ill health and possible irrational behaviors. Under distress, the probability of an accident increases greatly. • Research is examining work factors such as: • Performance monitoring, • Incentive pay systems, and • Unreasonable production demands • What policies or expectations might cause distress in each of the three areas above?
Using a checklist • General Ergonomic Risk Analysis Checklist • Manual Material Handling • Physical Energy Demands • Other Musculoskeletal Demands • Computer Workstation • Environment • General Workplace • Tools • Gloves • Administration
Ergonomics Job Hazard Analysis Ergonomic Hazard Prevention and Control Process Ergonomic Hazard Analysis Ergonomic Hazard Analysis Team develops solutions to Team develops solutions to eliminate or reduce risk factors eliminate or reduce risk factors Interim Measures PPE Engineering Controls Management Controls Engineering Controls Work Practice Controls Administrative Controls PPE Implement corrective actions Implement corrective actions Implement system improvements Implement system improvements Training Training Review solutions Review solutions
Setting Priorities • Priority for job analysis and intervention should be given to those jobs: • in which most people are affected or in which work method changes are going to be taking place anyway. • associated with worker complaints of fatigue and discomfort. • where screening efforts suggest the presence of significant risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders. • Of the three criteria described above to prioritize the ergonomics job hazard analysis, which one do you believe is most important?
Medical Management • What effective MSD management looks like: • Prompt response to employees with MSDs to prevent their condition from getting worse. • Prompt determination whether temporary work restrictions or other measures are necessary. • Prompt access to a health care professional (HCP) for evaluation, management and follow-up. • Prompt application of recommended HCP corrective actions to eliminate or reduce the risk factors that cause MSDs.
Employer responsibilities • The employer should create an environment that encourages early evaluation. • Employees should participate in the health care management process. • Health Care Provider Responsibilities • The health care provider can support the employer's ergonomics program by: • Acquiring experience and training in the evaluation and treatment of MSDs • Seeking information and review materials regarding employee job activities • Ensuring employee privacy and confidentiality to the fullest extent permitted by law • Evaluating symptomatic employees:
Controlling Risk Factors • Some important recommendations for controlling risk factors include: • Ask employees in the problem job for recommendations. • Identify, assess and implement feasible controls. • Track your progress. • Identify and evaluate MSD hazards.
Hierarchy of Hazard Control Strategies • Engineering controls. • Management controls. • Interim Measures. • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). What control measures might work to correct the hazard in the photo to the right?
Implementing Control Strategies • The process of implementing controls normally consists of: • Trials or tests of the selected solutions • Making modifications or revisions • Full-scale implementation • Follow up on evaluating control effectiveness
You can get more Ideas for effective ergonomic control measures from a variety of sources: • Employees/work teams • OSHA • Trade associations • Insurance companies • Private consultants and vendors • Networking with other safety professionals and visits to worksites • Roles and Responsibilities • Injured Employee • Supervisor • Occupational Health Nurse (OHN) • Ergonomics Engineer • Physician
5. Incident/Accident Analysis • Be ready when accidents happen • 1. Write a clear policy statement. • 2. Identify those authorized to notify outside agencies (fire, police, etc.) • 3. Designate those responsible to investigate accidents. • 4. Train all accident investigators. • 5. Establish timetables for conducting the investigation and taking corrective action. • 6. Identify those who will receive the report and take corrective action. • Why do we “investigate” accidents? • Why are some accident reports ineffective?
Direct Cause of Injury Surface Causes
Root Causes External Factors
6. Education and Training Education explains why…training shows how • Education tells Why • Training shows How • Experience improves skills • Accountability sustains behaviors What are some different methods for conducting ergonomics safety education and training? What does an effective ergonomics safety training program look like? “Safety training is worthless without accountability.”
What are the objectives of ergonomics education and training? • Recognize workplace risk factors for MSDs. • Understand general methods for controlling MSDs. • Identify the signs and symptoms of MSDs. • Be familiar with the company's health care procedures. • Know the process to address and control risk factors. • Know the the employee's role and accountabilities. • Know the ways employees can actively participate. • Know the procedures for reporting risk factors and MSDs. • How do we know ergonomics education and training is successful? • How do we make sure it’s successful?
Training in job analyses and control measures • Demonstrate the way to do a job analysis. • Select ways to implement and evaluate control measures • Training in problem solving • Identify the departments, areas, and jobs with risk factors through a review of company reports, records, walk-through observations, and special surveys. • Identify tools and techniques that can be used to conduct job analyses and serve as a basis for recommendations. • Develop skills in team building, consensus development, and problem solving. • Recommend ways to control ergonomic hazards based on job analyses and pooling ideas from employees, management, and other affected and interested parties.
Special considerations and precautions Training objectives are not intended to have workers, supervisors, or managers diagnose or treat MSDs. Rather, the purpose is to instill an understanding of what type of health problems may be work related and when to refer employees for medical evaluation. What might be the result if employees are not involved in problem solving to eliminate or reduce ergonomic hazards related to their work?
7. Periodic Evaluation • Last and first phase of planning cycle • Assess, analyze, evaluate, both labor and management • Use outside experts • One of the safety committee’s primary responsibilities is to evaluate accountability. • Establish procedures for change - an action plan • Measure activity and results • Make effective recommendations
Long-term indicators of the effectiveness of an ergonomics program can include: • Reduction in the incidence rate of MSDs. • Reduction in the severity rate of MSDs. • Increase in productivity or the quality of products and services. • Reduction in job turnover or absenteeism. • An effective evaluation team will: • Consult with employees in problem jobs to assess their views on the effectiveness of the program and to identify any significant deficiencies in the program; • Evaluate the elements of your program to ensure they are functioning properly; and • Evaluate the program to ensure it is eliminating or reducing MSD hazards. • What might be the likely cause if new ergonomic risk factors have been discovered during the follow-up evaluation?