2 Overview Traditional Ergonomic Practice PE definition/background Who is involved in PE programsPE in small workplacesSuccess Factors for Organizational ChangeBarriers to the PE processPE Blueprint
3 Traditional ergonomic practices Traditional Intervention ApproachesFit a task/workspace to a workerRecognition of risk (WRMSD’S)Employ guidelines, laboratory findings, statistical modelingNotion of “accidents” has changed(Typically) not reiterative and often does not consider how changes create problems upstream/downstreamEffective in creating a problem solving culture?Traditional practices typically just focused on a single workstation or production problem3
4 Failure of traditional approach: NOT poor scienceErgonomic information (KNOWLEDGE) is not being properly adapted and appliedCarrivick, Lee, Yau, & Stevenson (2005)Example:What can I tell 30 year veterans at a fish processing plant about how to cut fish!It can be tough to tell people that they should change what they have been doing for so long. Workers or management may not understand or are not interested in change. May believe that it is too costly4
5 How do we adapt & apply this ergonomics knowledge?
6 Participatory ergonomics represents an intervention style to work within a systemic approach to ergonomics(Antle, 2008)
7 Background on PE Rivilis et al., (2006): PE interventions/programmes are used to reduce work related musculoskeletal disorders in workplacesGrew out of quality circle experiences in Japan & participatory workplace design processes in Northern Europe and North America in the 1980’s
8 Background on PESupported by unions, health and safety sectoral agencies, and health and safety associations(Rivilis et al., 2006)PE programs can be implemented as part of an organizations constant improvement process and should be budgeted and evaluated
9 PE Programs Improved ergonomics can lead to increased productivity Reported outcomes from participatory ergonomics interventions include:decreased injury incidence and lower compensation costs (Laing et al., 2005)
10 PE DefinitionsThe involvement of people in planning and controlling a significant amount of their work activities, with sufficient knowledge and power to influence both processes and outcomes in order to achieve desirable goals.Wilson & Haines (1997)10
11 PE DefinitionsParticipatory Ergonomics is the adaptation of the environment to the human (ergonomics) together with the proper persons in question (participants)Vink (2005)Practical ergonomics is necessary with actors in problem solvingKuorinka (1997)
13 PE DefinitionsThere is no common consensus on a definition of PE (Antle, 2008)But in all PE descriptions there is one common component- the involvement of stakeholders in the process.Failure to involve these individuals may lead to their negative interpretation of the need for an intervention
15 Participatory Ergonomics PE requires key company stakeholders to be involved in the intervention – at all stages of the processThey account for the traditional ergonomic measures, as well as the organizational and employee/management factorsParticipation can either be direct or representativeAntle (2008)Contexts!
16 Participatory Ergonomics In implementing effective ergonomics, we cannot focus on technology alone. We must understand the context in using comprehensive management concepts.Vink et al. (2008)Capturing knowledge must account for social and organizational factorsKuorinka (1997); Laitinen et al. (1998)\\16
17 Participatory Ergonomics An effective PE program encourages workers to identify the hazards or risk factors in their workplaceRisk can be shaped by different workplace components (multi-dimensional in nature)Those related to the individual jobThose related to worksite environmentThose related to organizational issuesCann et al. 2006Need to understand that occupational risk exist on many levels
18 In a 2008 study, Vink et al. theoretically proposed the different levels of involvement of participants in each step of a PE process.
19 Participatory Ergonomics: Who is involved? Vink et al. (2008)Top ManagementMiddle ManagementEmployeeErgonomistDesignerInternal StaffCompany differences
21 Participatory Ergonomics Vink et al. (2008) results:Middle management also involved in implementationEmployees also involved in adjustmentErgonomists role limited in later stages such as adjusting and implementation
22 multi-dimensional model with implications for participatory ergonomics Cann et al. (2006):Lay versus expert understandings of workplace risk in the food service industry: Amulti-dimensional model with implications for participatory ergonomics
23 How do perceptions differ? Cann et al. (2006)Explored the understandings of risk as felt by food service workers and how these compare with an “expert” in risk assessmentThey note that the risk literature usually focuses on the evaluation of trained experts
24 Cann et al. (2006) findings:Ergonomists may be insufficient for successful workplace change and interventionWorkers are knowledgeable and their knowledge is a result of experienceWorkers identified the same risks as the ergonomist just in more detail
25 How can we train those involved in PE programs? Can take several formsBe careful with media selectionLectures vs. Video/computer based learningHands on learningEmployees should feel as though they are active part of the program
27 Success Factors for Organizational Change The employment of long-term strategies for the company and the ability to make the necessary resources availableAdequate participation of individuals and groups affected by the changesConsideration of impact of company’s or plant’s cultureZink et al. (2008)
28 Success Factors for Organizational Change Coherence between different change initiativesEmphasis on structures and behaviours considering the interdependencies between themChange initiatives seen as evolutionary process but not as time-limited programsZink et al. (2008)
29 PE factors for successLiterature identifies the several PE requirementsKoningsveld, Dul, Van Rhijn, & Vink, 2005; de Looze, Urlings, Vink, Van Rhijn, & Miedema, 2001; Haines,Wilson, Vink, & Koningsveld, 2002; Saleem, Kleiner, & Nussbaum, 2003Existence or absence of these factors determine the success of the intervention and long-term improvement of ergonomics/OHS capacity at the company29
30 Common Framework Success Factors Identifying the involvement of key personnel; developing a steering committeeHaving a PE trained ergonomic facilitatorHaving participation of employees from all levels of the organization in as direct a manner as possibleHaving strong management commitmentFocusing on employees satisfaction, production factors and other such outcomes, not just health implicationsUsing a step-wise strategy for the projectEnsure proper tools and equipment are available30
31 PE in small workplaces-how can we successfully implement changes?
32 Participatory Ergonomics in Small Workplaces Kogi (2008) reviewed the use of trainers in helping local people in small work environments and the improvements they can help make in different work scenariosOrganized partners in Asian Intercounty
33 Kogi (2008)Trainers role as facilitator focused on local practical improvements that had real impacts in the workplace
34 Kogi (2008)Programs dealing with work- related risks were organized according to the target groupsRisks addressed wereNeedle stick injuriesMSDMental stress situationsIrregular hours/overwork situations
35 WISE training programs applied to small construction sites and home workplaces Trainers played crucial role in facilitating learning of local good practice, low cost ideas, and follow up activitiesSimilar roles played in WIND programs
36 Kogi (2008)Trainers in these programs contributed to the adjustment of training materials to local conditions through the observation of local good practices and photographic examples
37 Kogi (2008)Second stage of facilitation was concerned with the planning of immediate improvementsPlanning done by participating managers, workers or farmers themselves*CRUCIAL in each program*
39 Kogi (2008) Effects of Participatory steps: Practical improvements had been achieved in work and life conditionsImprovements inReduced injury risksWork environmentLighting, ventilation machine guarding, and chemicals handlingReduced physical and muscular loads
40 Kogi (2008) Concluding remarks: A trainer’s facilitative role is more effective when these support functions are followed:Building local initiative for actionFocus on practical optionsConformation of benefits of the improvements achieved through feedback
42 Key Barriers to PE Process Three issues in PE process noted by Institute for Work and Health (2009):Having support for PE program from the organizationHaving resource commitment from the organizationHaving open communication about the PE program
43 Barriers to PE Process Cann et al. (2006) A key barrier to shared knowledge is not due to expertise, but the inability or unwillingness to incorporate different types of knowledge and expertise to accomplish a common goal
44 What happens when PE interventions are not considered successful?
45 When PE Interventions Are Not Successful Laing et al. (2007) investigated the purpose of a PE programme in reducing WMSDWanted to assess whether an intervention influenced pain severity based on aspects of the change processUsed a sister plant in the corporation as a referent group
46 Laing et al. (2007)There was an increase reported in enhanced communication regarding ergonomic issuesHowever, when the final assessment took place there was no real change in worker perception or pain severity.....What went wrong?
47 Laing et al. (2007) Possible Explanations: Worker input Limited intervention intensityContext/Co-intervention differences between the two plantsLack of sensitivity/specificity in psychosocial measures used
48 Laing et al. (2007) Worker input Improved communication dynamics may be a requirement for changes to occur in worker perception of workplace decision latitude and influenceMay not be sufficient enough- Why?Workers may perceive that their input is ignoredThis may lead to decrease in decision latitude
49 Laing et al. (2007) Limited intervention intensity Intervention period may have been too short (10 months)Lack of commitment by ECT teamLogo/participation in 1 minute surveyUse of representative participation approachEmployees may not have felt involved in process of change
50 Laing et al. (2007)Context/Co-intervention differences between the two plantsA history of mistrust and non-participatory practices between labour and management existed at the intervention plantNew management 4 months into intervention period
51 Laing et al. (2007)Lack of sensitivity/specificity in psychosocial measures usedPsychosocial exposures measures may not have been sensitive enough for the specific changes involved with the particular interventionMore thoughts need to be given to tool development used to measure outcomes affected by workIntensity=critical
53 PE BlueprintA facilitators guide for implementing a successful PE program as part of an organizations health and safety programEstablishes the groundwork to gain management support, set up a PE change team and initiate basic training in ergonomics
54 PE Blueprint Has an Ergonomic Process and a Health and Safety Process Is the organizational structure that supports the ergonomic process
56 PE Blueprint Ergonomic Process (2 Cycles) Reactive Cycle: Facilitator identifies risk, evaluates priorities, proposes solutions, implements and evaluates a prototype in order to adopt solutionsProactive CycleUses feedback from previous changes to ensure that ergonomic principles are used in purchasing and design of new equipment
57 PE Blueprint Ergonomic Process These processes are complementary and requiredBoth of these processes use a common solution building, evaluation, and adoption approach
59 Reactive ProcessThis part of the process addresses the immediate ill-health and other concerns due to poor ergonomics
60 Reactive Process Phase 1: Opportunities for improvement Identify jobs, tasks or processes where workers experience greater rates of MSD or other indicators of poor ergonomic qualityThen integrate this data to determine which jobs may need further ergonomic investigation and assessment
61 Reactive Process Phase 2 Assess Ergonomic risk factors and prioritize jobs for improvementPrioritize ergonomic interventions for the jobs identified in previous step
62 Reactive Process Phase 3 Build Solutions Develop a prototype/trial solution to address the risks identified in the previous step
63 Reactive Process Phase 4 Prototype Implementation Implement solutions on a small scale or proactively as a computer simulation where possibleThis can judge its ergonomic quality and interactions with other equipment and processes
64 Reactive Process Phase 5 Prototype evaluation Estimate the ergonomic quality of the prototype solution
65 Reactive Process Phase 6 Implement Solution Allow for the smooth introduction of the solution after prototype trialsContinue monitoring the effect of the changes and still look for opportunities for improvement
67 Proactive Approach Proactive Approach Develops guidelines in all relevant departmentsThis aids to incorporate ergonomic information into decision makingUses ergonomic toolsThis allows prediction of the effects of design decision on human health and performance
68 Proactive Approach Proactive Approach Commits resources/time needed to incorporate ergonomic information into decision makingDevelops future programsBuilds in a continuous improvement cycle based on improvement of existing design problems and feedback
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