What you need to think about
We say, “The happiness of our employees is integral to the success of our company.” But those aren’t just words to us – they are reality. Among the benefits we provide team members are professional development, a tuition reimbursement program, opportunities for advancement and collaborative workspaces.
We also know that part of their happiness is tied to their health and safety. That’s why when setting up operations in our new facility, we placed a significant focus on ergonomics, the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capability of the working population. Ergonomics in the workplace helps reduce stress and eliminate injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks.
Examples of MSDs:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries (affects the shoulder)
- Epicondylitis (affects the elbow)
- Trigger finger
- Muscle strains and low back injuries
Ergonomics is important in every industry, but why is ergonomics important in automotive? Because in a plant, employees execute various tasks that require a specific kind of posture or equipment to safely handle or move a product or part – hence the importance of an ergonomic manufacturing workstation. This is one of the reasons why the automotive manufacturing industry is a leader in developing guidelines, using existing health and safety standards (e.g., OSHA), for manufacturing employees.
Though our plant floor isn’t as complex as traditional manufacturing parts, we followed the lead of our industry and concern for employees to address ergonomics in our new facility. Here are some highlights:
- Improved lighting throughout the plant for improved visual inspection.
- Process flow improvements for less operator travel and improved material flow efficiency.
- Established material locations for a true first in, first out (FIFO) system.
- Placed anti-fatigue mats in operators’ work areas for operator safety and comfort.
- Incorporated ergonomic tables set at a higher height to decrease the need for bending and overall movement.
While the box is checked for now, ensuring the comfort and safety of our associates is something we continually keep an eye on. Because without them, we can’t be the leading Tier 1 automotive supplier of data management and VIN-specific label solutions.
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