Work Measurement

Building on the expertise of experienced workers to reduce risk

by Bill Wiehagen
Variability is natural in all work systems and results in some level of risk. Risk is generic. It can reflect the probability and potential severity of personal injury, illness, production downtime, higher product cost, and unacceptable quality. Contributing to risk is human error that might be defined as deviations from standard work procedures. In many cases, experienced workers have learned how to balance safety and productivity. Their knowledge and skill base can positively affect the bottom line. This presentation illustrates practical methods of building a better work system with examples and lessons learned from research with mining industry collaborators. This presentation will summarize selective ergonomics and training research and integrate these two disciplines within a context of performance engineering. The work has implications for work system design as well as training new individuals entering the work force. View presentation

Complementing the Washington Ergonomics assessment method with the strain index

by Abraham Robledo Gallegos
This presentation explains how the Washington Ergonomics (WE) assessment method and the strain index can work together to provide useful information for managerial teams looking to minimize injury risks in manufacturing shops while minimizing the time needed to perform assessments. As a base process, the WE assessments were used to identify jobs/tasks with elevated ergonomic risk factors. For most of these job/tasks, the WE assessment provided enough information to generate solutions. However, some jobs required greater detail so that a solution could be identified. For hand intensive activity when greater detail was needed, the strain index complemented the established process. Specifically, the strain index added exposure time factors to the assessments that improved information to generate a job rotation program proposal for a task that involved distal upper extremity injury potential. This combined assessment methodology makes the process time efficient while providing sufficient detail when needed. View paper | View presentation

Get your stats together

by Shannon Powell
One vital ingredient to a successful ergonomic program are the statistics and data collected along the way. These statistics can launch a program into a new hemisphere within any organization and leave upper management hungry to prioritize wellness for their employees. The data presented in this program comes from a unique system designed to make promoting proactive ergonomics an easy process. Through detailed programming, the data collected is used to move organizations to a new way of thinking. This data is helping companies lower their health care costs and look at prevention in a whole new light. View paper

Sensitivity analysis of subjective ergonomic assessment tools

by Claudia Escobar
The objective of this study was to examine subjective ergonomic assessment tools and determine which subjective input variables are critical for outcome generation. Sensitivity analysis was utilized to evaluate the values considered for each category in the assessment of subjective ergonomic tools to determine the effects of inputs on the resulting hazard level classification. Several ergonomic assessment tools were studied based on type of input and output data used; type of assessment yielded; data collection method/self-assessment; and tools variables. A discussion on the level of training required to effectively use the tool and the potential for self-reporting, considering the tool's usability, validity, and reliability, will be presented. View presentation

Using appropriate outcome measure for musculoskeletal disorders

by Jason Wang
The most widely used approaches to define outcomes of work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) to date are physical examination and subjective self reports of pain. How these measures correlate with each other is largely unknown. Our objective is to describe the correlation between subjective self-report of pain and physical signs identified in medical examinations. Findings suggest that self-reported pain and physical signs have different meanings for the classification of subjects as WMSD cases and these measures can disagree with each other. In addition, individual work-related factors and psychosocial factors can be differentially distributed among cases defined by these two measures. This finding might improve the knowledge for evaluating ergonomic program efficiently. View presentation

Using time studies for ergonomics

by Jose Alvarez
In today's business climate, companies are integrating different processes into one streamlined procedure to become lean. Companies are looking at using traditional industrial engineering tools to identify potential ergonomic issues and are becoming more proactive with their ergonomic programs. The goal of this presentation is to show how a classic industrial engineering tool, time studies, can be used concurrently with ergonomic analysis. View paper

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