A resource for reducing injuries associated with manual material handling (MMH) your company may have overlooked is your insurance carrier. Many insurance companies offer their policyholders no cost programs designed to analyze MMH tasks and develop solutions to minimize worker stress while saving money for their employers.
Motion is Money®
Motion is Money® from CNA begins when Brian Roberts, director, manufacturing & ergonomics, risk control, talks with company officials who are interested in saving money. After he guarantees savings of at least five percent, they let him spend time in their facility.
Roberts observes workers on one line or doing one task for about 30 minutes. “How many times do you think someone bends while loading boxes?” he asks. “It’s about 50,000 times annually per worker. I take excessive bending, walking and reaching and I turn it into dollars. We’re never going to eliminate those movements, but we can reduce them. Sometimes we get 100 percent reduction if we put in the right kind of equipment. In addition to reducing the risk of injury to the worker, this increases production efficiency.” He said risk can be reduced without adding equipment by changing work methods, but the risk reduction is less.
Roberts’ goal is to understand how tasks interface with humans and to show management how changing that interface benefits the bottom line. This is different from some safety programs, which can take 12 to 18 months to get results—with management losing interest before those benefits are seen. “If you just look at one task, change it by adding equipment and get 10 percent in production improvement results right away, management is more focused,” he said.
By Jean Feingold