From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

3M Pilots Ergonomic Program


Task Prior to Abatement (Description)

3M Pilots Ergonomic Program. Workers manufacture various cardiovascular surgical devices.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)

The medical cases of work-related injuries and illnesses, especially Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, have increased.

A pilot program to assess the workplace had been performed.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)

Employees work with keyboards in their laps and VDTs at different heights.

Ergonomic Solution (Administrative Controls)

Ergonomic awareness has become a very visible part of daily decision making.

A pilot study has been conducted to evaluate work stations.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

Armrests have been added to the chairs.

Monitors have been relocated.

Workstation positions have been arranged for a right-handed person and at least one workstation was reserved for a left-handed worker.

Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)

All workers that perform the tasks now have reduced exposure to CTDs and other work-related injuries and illnesses.

Reduction in workers’ compensation costs.

Ergonomic Solution (Cost)

The ergonomics intervention program cost was about $33,500.

Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)

There was a 64 percent drop in OSHA injury and illness recordable rate.

CTD-related incidents have been reduced by implementing ergonomics interventions.

The company’s cardiovascular systems’ incidence rate fell from 4.5 last year to 1.61 this year.


3M’s goal is to reduce OSHA recordable cases by 50 percent over the next four years.


CTD News, 1995, 3M Pilots Ergonomic Program to Reduce OSHA Recordables, 3M Cardiovascular System, CTD News.