Following in Frederick Taylor's footsteps with Alcoa ergonomics

Various solutions show changing behavior is the key step toward a safer workplace

By Timothy Pottorff

I learned about Frederick Taylor, the founder of scientific management, while studying ergonomics at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, under the late Stephan Konz. After graduate school, I accepted a position as plant ergonomist at Alcoa’s Warrick Operations facility in Newburgh, Indiana, in February 1992. As Taylor had gotten his start in the primary metals industry, I was in the "thick of things" with nearly 4,000 employees and, in a way, walking in Taylor's footsteps.

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