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Reducing the ergonomic challenges in daily work using lean problem solving: Replacing Rodent Filter Top Filters Jason Fuller, BS, LAT Assistant Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Reducing the ergonomic challenges in daily work using lean problem solving: Replacing Rodent Filter Top Filters Jason Fuller, BS, LAT Assistant Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reducing the ergonomic challenges in daily work using lean problem solving: Replacing Rodent Filter Top Filters Jason Fuller, BS, LAT Assistant Director Facility Operations Center for Comparative Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA American Association for Laboratory Animal Science 64th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX ID# PS31, October 21, 2014

2 Center for Comparative Medicine –Approximately 130 FTEs –8 managed facilities in 3 distinct locations Charlestown Navy Yard Boston – Beacon Hill Area Cambridge – 400 Tech Sq –Supports Variety of Species Rodents Aquatics Rabbits Pigs & Sheep Non-human Primate –Implemented Lean Management 2005 Diverse program with many opportunities and challenges.

3 Culture of Problem Solving: Utilizing Your Most Precious Resource Staff are expected to bring opportunities to improve forward. Out of the box thinking is encouraged. Problems are solved by teams, with stake holder involvement. Management must support the staff with tools and training. Managers must have an effective knowledge of problem solving & problem solving tools to support the staff with their continuous improvement initiatives.

4 Determine how success will be quantified or qualified Did the plan work out or do you need to return to the planning stage Determine how success will be quantified or qualified Did the plan work out or do you need to return to the planning stage Establish a standardized process Create a list of action items Assign specific tasks and set goals for completion Carry out the plan Create a list of action items Assign specific tasks and set goals for completion Carry out the plan Identify a problem, idea or opportunity Determine the root cause and create countermeasures or solutions Identify a problem, idea or opportunity Determine the root cause and create countermeasures or solutions Plan Do Check Act Problem Solving: Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

5 Problem Solving Worksheet

6 This Process Doesn't Work! Replacing the filter material in our filter tops is a problem. –Staff complain about sore thumbs –Team members avoid this task when possible –We are changing more filters Defective filter tops found throughout the process. Too hard to replace. About 100 per day (estimated).

7 Defining Current State Filters are supposed to be changed on dirty side. Some are missed on dirty side and are washed. Some are found in the animal rooms and cannot be used 400 – 600 filters are replaced a month, which seems to be an increase? It takes 24 to 60 seconds to replace the filters. There is not time set aside to replace them during cage processing and they are set aside to be replaced when time is available. (batching) Not all staff are able to perform the task easily. Other facilities experience the same challenges “I have been doing it this way for 19 years and it has always been a problem”

8 Determining the Root Cause Attempt #1 Why do the filters need replacing? Washing Cycle Poor Handling Chewing from Mice More Fragile When Wet Sterilization Process

9 Potential Solution? Eliminate Sterilization of Filter Tops? Not a viable option due to overall process requirements.

10 Determining the Root Cause #2 Why is it difficult & time consuming to replace the filters? 1 : Difficult to do more than a couple at a time for some staff 2: Manual process that takes extreme finger strength to perform. Determined to be 15 to 20 pounds of pressure 3b:No tool available that is designed for this process 4b:No one has asked for a tool? 3a: Work is batched 4a: Have not incorporated task into cage processing process

11 Potential Solutions 1.Decrease the batch size and replace the filters when discovered 2.Use a tool to pry the filter top apart 3.Assign the task only to those that can complete the task without complaint

12 Check: Determine Results Incorporating the task into the cage sanitization process improved the process for some employees but not most. The finger & hand strain was not reduced. Different tools that were tried were either in-effective or created additional safety concerns. Having only staff that can physically handle the task did not allow for effective team work or coverage of task. Also management was unwilling to subject these willing staff to this hand strain and potential injuries.

13 Outside the Box Solution Challenge your team to think outside the box and seek resources outside the team and department. Solution: Design a new tool for this task. Action Plan:Assigned To:Due DateStatus 1: Define the ideal requirements for a tool to perform this taks Harald & Ops Team1-Jun-14Complete 2: Partner with B&G about potential toolsHarald8-Jun-14Complete 3: Review B&G proposal and QuoteAngie & Jason22-Jun-14Approved 4: B&G to build arbor press's for this task.Henry11-Jul-14Complete 5: Assess the new tool.Harald30-Aug-14In Process

14 Do: Implement Potential Counter Measure Cost: $500 per arbor press, including modifications and labor

15 Do: Implement Counter Measure

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17 Check: Determine Success Ergonomic assessment, using the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, Threshold Limit Value (TLV) for Hand Activity is the ratio between the Normalized Peak Force (NPF) and 10 minus the Hand Activity Level (HAL). TLV = NPF/(10-HAL) Any ratio/score above 0.78 would indicate a task that needs to be improved and any task below 0.56 needs no ergonomic improvements. Any task with a finger force greater than 10 lbs requires modification. Task:TLV Ratio Finger/Thumb Force Manual process lbs Using the arbor press 0.1 eliminated

18 Check: Determine Success Task Time: 30% more efficient. Saving 87 minutes/month. TaskMinimumMaximumNotes Manual Process 24s36s Not all team members could perform task. "Prosper Presses" 18s24s

19 Act: Deploy New Standard Purchase additional “Prosper Presses” for other campus Work with metal shop to design a single tool (potential improvement) Develop SOP for new process Steps to Establishing a Standard Process

20 Lean Principles Develop Exceptional People and Teams (Principle #10) Respect Your Extended Network of Suppliers (Principle #11) Go and see for Yourself (Principle #12) Make Decisions Slowly by Consensus, Considering all Options (Principle #13) Become a Learning Organization (Principle #14)

21 Acknowledgements Angie Heiser– CCM, Simches, Facility Manager Harald Prosper – CCM, Simches, Operations Team Lead Henry Williams – MGH B&G, Metal Shop Gerry Cronin – CCM, Continuous Improvement Manager Simches Operations Team Staff

22 Questions? CCM Mission Provide reliable, affordable, and responsive laboratory animal care and research services in pursuit of scientific knowledge and medical breakthroughs Avoid or minimize pain and distress in animals under our care Maintain a fulfilling, respectful, and safe workplace


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