Industrial ergonomics

Question

Summarize and analyze the following information in the indicated NIOSH publication: Engineering and administrative improvements, Proactive action plan The three improvement options mentioned in the publication. The project must include, at minimum, the following components:

  1. Introduction
  2. Engineering and Administrative Improvements
  3. Proactive Action Plan
  4. Improvement Options

Sample paper

Industrial ergonomics

Given the importance of human asset in the workforce of any company, investors are putting more emphasis on improving the working conditions of their staffs. As a result, investors are emphasizing on industrial ergonometric which focuses on fitting, industrial tools, and equipment to fit into the employees’ skills and knowledge rather than trying to fit the employee into the tools and equipment.  In our case, the author successfully summarizes and analyzes the materials purchased by the company to increase its production and meet their customers’ demands and wants.  In additional, the articles attempt to elaborate and describe various techniques and ways that they can use to improve the way its employees can improve manual handling of materials in the organization to make sure that both individual workers and the organization can benefit from the materials. Some of the methods and options provided by the article are meant to improve the overall operations of the manual materials as well as reducing and simplifying workers’ tasks and responsibilities in the organization. It is also worth noting the contribution of the author in developing a four-phase plan that focuses on risk factors, how to improve ergonometric in a company and ways of effectively training employees to get the best out of them (Cheung, 2007). Notably, the author also takes the time to address techniques that can be utilized to minimize if not eliminate risks in an enterprise, how to increase efficiency, methods of minimizing costs of production, safety measures that can assist in reducing accidents and injuries in a workplace. Some part of the article addresses how a company can introduce more efficient systems. This assignment will attempt to provide a comprehensive analysis of engineering and administrative enhancements to the employee’s operation as provided in the article.

Engineering and Administrative Improvements

The attempts to fit the job in the form of machinery and equipment will have a direct effect on the demand for the labor in the organization.  Often, when a company focuses on the implementation of ergonometric, it will experience a reduction of a work task that will have a positive impact on the abilities and capabilities of its employees as the results are expected to improve. There exist different ways in which the management of an organization can improve specific tasks in an organization, and the management is expected to choose the best alternative for their company. However, it is worth noting that there is no one different approach that is best for the management to use to improve its ergonomic and importation of ergonomic strategy from another company can result in massive losses. On the same note, the different task may require a different ergonomic plan and strategy and thus, it is advisable for the management to analyze each task independently for the best solution so that it can make an informed decision before adopting a particular plan. The management should be careful to make a sound decision that will set up in the most efficient manner and produce the optimal outcome that will benefit both the company and the individual worker.

The ergonomic process is usually divided into two broad categories; the engineering improvements and administrative improvements. Often, the engineering improvements widely focus on restructuring, adjusting, redesigning as well as re-engineering all the processes and the tools utilized and employed to perform certain tasks in an organization (Cheung, 2007). The administrative improvements ensure that the tasks are performed in the most effective and efficient way possible as it attempts to improve the work process in the organization. Administrative improvements may take different forms such as improvement of the current work process, implementation of new work processes, rotation of employees from one department to another and job rescheduling in a case where tasks are overlapping to ensure that there is no confusion among the employees. Given that employees may get bored by constantly repeating complex tasks every single day, the administration should create a system that will enable rotation of works, especially those who performs extremely well to motivate others as well as spread that success across the organization. Notably administrative and engineering improvements can have minimal or no impacts on the employees if the workers are not trained appropriately to give them the necessary skills and knowledge to perfectly perform their roles and tasks.

Proactive Action Plan

For any innovations or improvement to take place, there is the need for the management to have a plan that can aid in solving the problems at hand.  The articles have explained in details for steps that the management should seek to implement to help them solve all the problems in the organization in regards to their industrial ergonomics. The first step focuses on the identification and examination of the problem affecting an enterprise. The management assesses the workplace to identify the problem and the need for improvements.  Through the review of employee complaints, review of the recommendation boxes, as well as compensation reports assists in; identify a burning issue among the employees that need immediate attention.  The second step involves the evaluation of the problem and its impacts on the employees concerning their job performance as well as motivation to carry out their roles effectively and efficiently. However, it is prudent and advisable fort the senior management to involve employees and other managers in coming up with the solutions to their problems to reduce resistance from the workforce as well as improving unity and cohesion between the labor force and the management. When workers are consulted before the implementation of a particular policy, they feel that they are part of the organization and appreciated for their contribution to the company (Cheung, 2007). The third step involves choosing the right alternative that can aid in solving the problem. The management should not be the only body that can come up with the solution, but rather all, the entire company should play a part in the formulation and implementation of the solution. Finally, the management has the duty to monitor and evaluate the success of the implemented solution to ensure that it performs the intended duty and if there is the need for any improvements.

Improvement Options

There exist a variety of improvement options that are open to a company that ranges from a simple option to a complex solution to a problem. However, improvement plan and option entirely depend on the nature of the problem at hand. A simple modification or implementation is techniques of lifting, lowering, filling or emptying containers manually. Lowering stress on the employees back and shoulders as well as minimizing the energy required executing this simple task of reaching and bending to left or empty containers is an easily recognized benefit. However, other tasks may be too complex and demanding to implement such a simple improvement plan. Simple stress-free ways are to improve grip, minimizing stress on the back and shoulders as well as decreasing the contact pressure on the shoulders. Implement a simple, non-powered then powered equipment rotation alternating manual handling of individual containers. Thus, having a better understanding of the problem at hand before the implementation of an improvement option increases the probability and the likelihood of implementing the right and appropriate improvement plan.

Summary

Judging from the solutions and, guidelines provided in the NIOSH publication, I feel that the article has not fully elaborated the improvement process and can be very risky for another organization to follow the guidelines to improve material handling in their organization. On the same note, given the nature of my industry a proactive plan can have more positive plans than reactive plan. Proactive plans help in identifying problems, set priorities, and making changes as well as follow-up activities.  Additionally, I support the improvement options considering that they make the tasks easy for the employee thus enhancing their results. Improvement plans help reduce the risk factors, increasing productivity, lowering costs by eliminating production holdups. They help reduce injuries and reducing workers’ efforts by decreasing employees handling materials.  However, it is worth noting that one improvement policy cannot work effectively without the other (Cheung, 2007). Thus, both the engineering improvement and the administrative improvement must work hand in hand for the organization to get the best out of their employees, reduce workplace injuries as well as enhancing the results of the company in general. Implementing simple controls can help reduce reaching and bending, lowering stress on the back and shoulders as well as reduction of the efforts and forces necessary to conduct their work tasks.

References

Cheung, Z. F. (2007). Ergonomic guidelines for manual material handling. (DHHS [NIOSH]                  Publication No. 2007-131).

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