In a second round of changes, conveyor systems were replaced with small, individual scissors-lift platforms, and heavy pneumatic drivers with lighter electric ones; this was followed by moving from an assembly line process to one where each worker builds an entire cabinet, with the ability to readily shift from standing to sitting. A further reduction in workers compensation losses to $12,000 resulted. In terms of lost work days due to injury, in 1990 there were 298; in both 1993 and 1994 there were none (Center for Workplace Health Information, 1995a). All told, these ergonomic changes have reduced workers compensation costs at AT&T Global over the 1990-1994 period by $1.48 million. The added costs for these ergonomic improvements represent only a small fraction of these savings.
Red Wing Shoes. Beginning in 1985 with (a) the initiation of a safety awareness program that includes basic machine setup and operation, safety principles and body mechanics, CTDs, and monthly safety meetings; (b) a stretching, exercise and conditioning program; (c) the hiring of an ergonomics advisor; and (d) specialized training on ergonomics and workstation setup for machine maintenance workers and industrial engineers, the Red Wing Shoe Company of Red Wing, Minnesota, made a commitment to reducing WMSDs via ergonomics. The company purchased adjustable ergonomic chairs for all seated operators and antifatigue
Contact: Lois Smith
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society