Discomfort• That persists from day to day or interferes with normal living or work activities should not be considered an acceptable outcome of work• Overhead work like this is not acceptable
We‟ve made progress at Ford in Canada withergonomic assists to reduce heavy work
Why did Ford act on Ergonomics?• Because of pressure from the unions in Canada and the U.S.• 1987, in U.S. UAW - Ford contract negotiations, Ford agreed to implement ergonomics programs in 60 plants• After pressure from the union, in1987, U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration imposed a $476,000 fine for failure to accurately record injuries to workers.
Why did Ford act on Ergonomics?• CAW – Ford contract negotiations, Ford agreed to implement ergonomics programs in Canadian plants• After pressure from the union, in 1990 in the U.S. the Occupational Health and Safety Administration imposed a $1.2 million fine for failure to accurately record injuries to workers (there was and is no ergonomics law)• 1990, Ford agreed to implement RSI reduction programs in its 81 plants in the U.S.
U.S. government used the „general duty‟clause to make Ford implementergonomics• This is a very useful idea• You can use the general duty of the employer to provide a healthy and safe workplace, found in Russian law, to ensure there is a sound ergonomics program in place• Or for any other health and safety purpose
To prepare for 1996 bargaining, weneeded to be able to show speed-up washarming workers• So in 1995 we did the big studies among auto assembly and auto parts workers• Our findings showed speed up had produced injuries• This increased awareness among the membership – their pain was not individual, it was collective• It built the case for ergonomics among the membership and gave us ammunition to use with the employers• Work refusals by members who suffered repetitive strain injuries in the plants helped to set the stage for bargaining
1996 tough set of bargaining• General Motors was the target company• Contracting out was the biggest issue• It impacted all others, including health and safety and the pace of work• The company began moving the dies out of one of the plants so we occupied the plant to prevent it• A five week strike followed and the company capitulated• Then we moved on to the other two car companies, Ford and Chrysler and got the same agreement
1996 we really pushed for ergonomicsand got a Health & Safety Training Fund• This fund was paid for by the employer (2 cents per hour worked per employee to start) but controlled by the union.• The union: • appointed writers (rank and file workers) for courses and started with ergonomics • trained health and safety trainers (rank and file workers) to teach this course and others courses • developed a one week course on ergonomics and put all of the union leadership in all of the car plants in it • developed a shorter course on ergonomics for all of the workers and everyone in all the plants
1996 we really pushed for ergonomicsand got a Health & Safety Training Fund• The union bargained full time union ergonomic representatives in the assembly plants to help the union OHS representatives• The union wrote an updated Ergonomics Manual and the fund paid for its publication• The union ran ergonomics conferences to ensure the issue was understood throughout the union, beyond just the car plants
Our health and safety strategies,including ergonomics• I hope by explaining what we do that you can pick and choose what might be useful to you in your workplace
Our union OHS plan• Awareness• Goals, strategies and tactics• Support• Action
Awareness about ergonomic problems• Ask workers where it hurts• Ask workers what their problems are, what strains and sprains injuries they may have• Use surveys, interviews, meetings• It increases the awareness of the workforce• And it increases the awareness of the leadership about the problem
Goals, strategies and tactics• Once the surveys are back, questions have been answered and analyzed:• Determine the goal, eg. elimination of overhead work• Develop strategies for implementation: • On the shop floor • In collective bargaining• On the shop floor this would include looking at each job that required overhead work, and determining how the job could be done differently• In collective bargaining it could include ensuring during the next product assembly line change, jobs must be designed to eliminate overhead work
Support• Make sure the leadership is all on side and fully understands your goals, strategies and tactics• Return these strategies and tactics to the membership for them to endorse or amend
Action• Put your plan into action• Ensure your workplace ergonomics leaders and union negotiating team are well equipped to argue the point on a case by case basis with management• Engage in shop floor activities such as work refusals from workers who suffer from RSIs to drive home the point• And slow downs are effective, too since workers in pain should be working slower• Collective bargaining uses the threat of strike to good effect• When production is interfered with, management listens
Celebrate your victories• It‟s very important to acknowledge your victories, even partial victories• It keeps your morale up and it builds support among the membership for future struggles• Don‟t just focus on the mountain ahead• Once you‟ve climbed a hill, look back and celebrate how far you‟ve come
Let‟s investigate workers‟ symptoms• Each person please fill in the form (David, this form is found on pages 46, 47 and 48 of the Ergonomics Manual. If it‟s easier, it‟s fine to run off the body diagrams as a separate sheet.)• Take your time and do it thoughtfully• When people are finished, we will form groups of two• For each group of two, read the other person‟s form and ask questions about it so you can thoroughly understand the answers• Note, question 13 addresses treatment but it also begins to introduce the idea of solutions.
Do you feel that sort of survey throughoutyour plant would help to:• Increase awareness of workers about repetitive strain injuries?• Increase your understanding of where problem areas or jobs are in the plant?• Would it help you to: • make goals for solving these problems? • build support among the membership for acting to ensure your goals are strived for? • build a case with the company that these problems need to be addressed?
We need to look at jobs, too• Bad design• Good design• Much of these are common sense• How do we make jobs more comfortable for workers?• The good designs seem so obvious when you see the example, but they are often tough to think of on your own
How can we eliminate the stress on hisforearm?
Cut off the sharp edge and put a pad onthe surface
You‟ve talked about your partner‟ssymptoms, now let‟s try to analyze his jobin your groups of two• Go through the Ergonomic Risk Factor Checklist (David, this is on pages 55, 56, 57, 58, and 59 of the Ergonomics Manual) with your partner. Ask him about his job and fill in the form.• Then go through the form again with him asking you about your job and filling it in.• This is a very comprehensive analysis of the risk factors of jobs.
Next we‟ll talk aboutthe principles of good job design
Here are the principles of good job design• In each case we‟ll look at a risk factor and give examples of things that can be done to reduce the risk• (David, here the text for pages 90, 91, 92 and 93 of the Egonomics Manual is needed. It will probably go on for quite a few slides. As well, it should be a hand-out.)• We will have small groups working on risk factors:
Small Group Work: Risk Factors• Each small group should discuss among themselves how to eliminate or reduce these risk factors: • Force: Lift, lower or carry • Force: Push or pull • Force: Grip • Work Posture • Local Contact Stress • Environment (eg. Vibration, temperature, lighting) • Repetition • Work Organization• Prepare a report to share with the whole workshop
Risk Factor: Force; Lift, lower or carry• Eliminate the need to manually lift, lower, or carry objects by using engineering controls such as hoists, pallet jacks, carts, and conveyors. If that is not practicable, consider options such as the following to minimize risk: • Minimize the distance of the load from the worker (eg., use turntables; move the worker closer to the object; don‟t place obstructions close to the object). • Minimize the vertical distance over which the load is lifted or lowered (e.g., use pallet jacks; limit shelf height). • Avoid tasks below knuckle height (eg., use scissor lifts, pallet jacks). • Avoid tasks above shoulder height (eg., limit shelf heights; improve storage practice, raise the worker).
Risk Factor: Force; Lift, lower or carry• Avoid stooped or twisted positions (eg. provide unrestricted work space; arrange the workstation to minimize twisting when the worker picks up or puts down a load).• Minimize the size of the load (eg., order loads in smaller containers; have worker take two trips rather than one).• Minimize carrying distance (eg. have a well-designed work flow).
Risk Factor: Force; Lift, lower or carry• Avoid handling heavy or unbalanced objects while sitting down (eg. stand so that stronger muscles are used to perform physically demanding tasks; avoid handling more than 4.5 kilograms while sitting down).• Improve the grip on the load (eg. provide good handles on containers; add clamps or other devices to improve grip).• Change the design of the task (eg. from a lifting task to a lowering task; from a lifting, lowering, or carrying task to a pushing or pulling task).• Use pause periods or job enhancement to permit muscles to recover from applying force for prolonged periods.
Risk Factor: Force: Push or pull • Eliminate the need to manually push or pull objects by using engineering controls such as conveyors, hoists, and gravity-fed systems. If that is not practicable, consider options such as the following to minimize risks: • Use carts that are well designed and appropriate to the task: • Handles can be grasped between waist and shoulder height (eg., vertical handles that can accommodate workers of different heights).
Risk Factor: Force: Push or pull • Load can be secured on the cart if necessary (eg., belts or clamps provided). • The size, number, and type of wheels are appropriate for the floor surface and weight carried. • Moving parts are maintained (preventive maintenance). • The worker has good visibility when pushing the cart.
Risk Factor: Force: Push or Pull• Use carts in an unrestricted area: • The worker is able to push and is not forced to pull the cart. • The worker can assume a comfortable position to initiate and maintain movement of the load. • The worker is not forced to assume awkward postures because of restricted work space or poor visibility.
Risk Factor: Force: Push or Pull• Use carts in areas with proper flooring or surface: • The floor is clean (eg., no debris or clutter on floor). • The floor does not slope and is not slippery. • There is no thick, plush, or shag carpet. • The surface is level (eg. minimize surface height changes in areas such as the entrance to elevators; fill potholes and cracks in surface).
Risk Factor: Force: Push or Pull• Reduce the load (eg. make two trips).• Reduce the total time spent pushing or pulling, or break the total time into smaller blocks of time doing that task.
Yes we can, we can reducepressure points and strain by bending thehandle
Risk Factor: Force: Grip• Eliminate the need to manually grasp or handle objects by using engineering controls such as clamps or automated tools. If that is not practicable, consider options such as the following to minimize risk: • Maintain a straight wrist (neutral position) through: • Improved design of handles (eg., bent instead of straight handles). • Improved design of workstation (eg., parts containers that are tilted instead of flat; use of in-line tools). • Improved work practice (eg., conscious effort to keep wrist straight).
Risk Factor: Force: Grip• Use power grip to grasp objects through: • Improved design of objects of handles on tools (eg. using boxes with cut-outs to permit power grip; adding handles to objects). • Improved layout of workstation (eg., objects positioned to permit easy access to handles). • Improved work practice (eg., conscious effort to avoid pinch grip).
Risk Factor: Force: Grip• Avoid strong or hard grasping of vibrating tools through: • Improved design of tools (eg., tools with built-in vibration- dampening sleeve). • Improved work practice (conscious effort not to grasp too hard). • Use of personal protective equipment (eg., well-fitting vibration dampening gloves to reduce grip force).
Risk Factor: Force: Grip• Avoid handling objects with cold surface temperature through: • Improved work practice (eg., at the end of the day, store the next day‟s supplies inside instead of keeping them outside where they will be cold by morning). • Improved work procedure (eg., avoid skin contact by using tools or utensils for grasping; use warm water periodically to warm hands). • Use of suitable gloves.
Risk Factor: Force: Grip• Improve grip while handling slippery objects by using friction-enhanced, well-fitting gloves or gloves with fingers removed.• Reduce the total time spent manually gripping objects, or break the total time into smaller blocks of time doing that task.
Work posture• Eliminate awkward postures by using engineering controls such as adjusting work heights, minimizing reaching distances, changing orientation of work, changing layout of workstation, using adjustable or angled tools and equipment, and using turntables, conveyors, tilted surfaces, or spring-loaded surfaces.• The objective is to enable the worker to work in a comfortable posture. Every posture requires periodic changes and movement or it becomes static. If elimination of awkward postures is not possible, consider options such as the following to minimize risk:
Work posture• Minimize awkward postures of the trunk: • Minimize forward bending by increasing the work height or moving objects closer (eg., use turntables, improve layout of workspace). • Minimize side bending by reducing the reach distance or moving objects to the front of the worker (eg., improve layout of work space; move closer to the objects). • Minimize twisting by reducing reach distance or moving objects to the front of the worker (eg., improve layout of work space; move closer to the objects).
Work posture• Minimize awkward postures of the shoulder: • Minimize reaching forward by reducing the reach distance or lowering the work height. • Minimize reaching sideways by reducing the reach distance, lowering the work height, or moving objects to the front of the body. • Minimize reaching behind by moving objects to the front of the worker. • Minimize reaching across the body by moving closer to the objects or transferring objects from one hand to another.
Work posture• Minimize awkward postures of the wrist by selecting the required tools with appropriate handles (eg., angled handles). • Minimize forearm rotation by using power tools or mechanical turners. • Minimize squatting and kneeling by raising the work.• Minimize static postures: • Provide footrests to allow the worker to transfer weight from one to foot to another. • Provide opportunities for the worker to move about periodically. • Minimize awkward postures while sitting by providing an appropriate chair that is adjusted to give good back support, maintain a comfortable posture, and minimize contact stress. • Provide a tilted sit-stand stool to take weight off the worker‟s feet and legs while allowing mobility
Local Contact Stress• Eliminate or minimize exposure to local contact stress: • Change or modify equipment (eg. use a long-handled screwdriver to prevent the butt from digging into the palm). • Change or modify work area to prevent sharp edges from digging into the skin (eg. pad sharp or metal edges). • Use personal protective equipment (eg. use knee pads while kneeling; use padded gloves when lifting heavy objects by narrow plastic strapping). • Improve or change work practice: • Avoid resting or leaning against sharp edges. • Avoid using a body part (eg. hand or knee) as a hammer.
Environment• Eliminate or minimize exposure to whole-body vibration: • Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods on a vibrating surface if practicable (eg., catwalks on vibrating machinery). • Isolate the source of vibration from the rest of the work space to prevent transmission of vibration to the sitting or standing area (eg., isolation of truck cabs from diesel engine vibration). • Keep equipment well maintained to reduce vibration. • Reduce total exposure to vibration by breaking up driving tasks or incorporating job rotation. • Keep road surfaces well maintained where possible
Environment• Keep the body warm at a comfortable temperature: • Use local source heating. • Wear warm clothing. • Take rest breaks in warm areas.• Ensure there is a proper heat stress program in place that ensures supplied water and adequate rest in cool places on hot days• Ensure that lighting is proper for the task being performed and glare is avoided so that the worker does not assume awkward postures to compensate for glare, brightness, or inadequate lighting.
Repetition• Eliminate highly repetitious tasks by using engineering controls such as mechanization (eg., power tools) or automation. If that is not practicable, consider options such as the following to minimize risk: • Combine or eliminate some parts of work to reduce the pace of repetition. • Incorporate flexibility over pace (eg., allow the worker to take rest breaks and micro-pauses or to control the speed of the conveyor). • Use good work techniques • Reduce the duration of exposure to repetition (eg., offer job rotation or job enhancement). Who thinks this only shares around the uncomfortable and more dangerous jobs?
Work organization• Ensure that repetitive or demanding tasks incorporate opportunities for rest or recovery (eg., allow brief pauses to relax muscles; change work tasks; change postures or techniques).• Incorporate task variability so that the worker does not have to perform similar repetitious tasks throughout the full shift. Provide the worker with the opportunity to vary work tasks by rotating jobs or increasing the scope of the job.• Ensure that work demands and work pace are appropriate.
What happens when an injured workerreturns to work?
What happens when an injured workerreturns to work?• Has his job been changed to prevent reoccurrence?• These are the issues that need to be looked at to ensure he is able to return to work safely.• (David, this is the return to work checklist on page 124. It would be good if it could be reproduced as a hand-out.)
How to convince management of need tochange a job ergonomically? You need:• Evidence: • Injury and lost time statistics • Reports from workers about problems (hopefully before they get injured) and their proposals for solutions • Results of your thorough investigation of the job itself• Arguments: • Using above evidence, use your knowledge of ergonomics to persuade management• If logic and reason don‟t persuade them, ensure workers know about their right to refuse unsafe work• You need worker action, individual and collective to persuade management to improve ergonomics on jobs
Distribute leaflets helping workers tounderstand problems• (David, these are the leaflets on pages 138, 139, 140 and 141 of the Ergonomics Manual. Needless to say, the CAW specific parts should be left out. I think for reasons of time that these should just be hand-outs.)
“Ergonomics is the biggest challenge wehave at Ford in Canada”• Emil Mesic, CAW Local 707 health and safety representative
We‟ve solved some problems but thestruggle for health and safety is never over • The following slides are just a few examples of some of the other problems our Ford union health and safety reps have confronted since the recession of October 2008
Ford Oakville Assembly Plant, 2008 • Fatality to forklift driver, pinned between his forklift and another forklift • A few weeks later a paint shop employee was critically injured when a high pressure hose burst off a fitting during water blasting in the paint shop • Numerous slips and trips resulting in broken bones and burns to regular workers and summer students • Ergonomic problems resulted in many days away from work • Result: one of the worst safety records for Ford plants in North America
Ford Oakville Assembly Plant, 2009 • Ongoing problem with the high speed roller table exiting the windshield and glass cells, a number of first aid visits and work refusals until problem resolved. • Power and free conveyor problems with tow bars falling; conveyor counterweights falling; dogs on conveyor failing, causing a crash.
Ford Oakville Assembly Plant, 2010 • Railway worker killed at Ford plant, crushed between two box cars • Forklift caught fire at beginning of day shift and plant filled with smoke. Company wanted workers to come in to work but workers refused until smoke cleared.
Ford Oakville Assembly Plant, 2011 • Broken limbs, cuts, abrasions and numerous ergonomic problems • One worker lost consciousness because of the heat • Heat stress big issue, lack of bottled water deliveries in some departments, lack of air conditioning in some rest areas • Ventilation problems in some areas • Serious burn when worker‟s ring made contact with battery terminal • Unlocked parts bins spilling parts led to work refusals and near misses • Preventive maintenance on forklifts not been adequate due to cut-backs to maintenance mechanics
We‟ve made progress but we have a longway to go to realize our goal of a societyin which economic and political power arein the collective hands of the workers andwhere labour is not only socially useful buta means of development of eachindividual.• Thanks very much
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