From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics is Important to Auto Workers

Last weekend, members of UAW Local 2244 voted to ratify a new four-year labor agreement with New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI). Approximately 4,000 UAW members of UAW Local 2244 work at NUMMI’s Fremont, CA facility, a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota.

Despite the downfall of a Federal Ergonomics Program Standard, ergonomics was definitely an important aspect of the new agreement.

The new agreement improves health and safety protections for UAW NUMMI workers in a number of areas, including the creation of an ergonomics task force to be staffed by eight full-time UAW members. Task force members, who will be paid by NUMMI, will evaluate production jobs for ergonomic hazards and recommend and implement necessary changes. In addition, the new agreement enhances air quality standards in the Fremont plant, and establishes a joint health and safety research fund.

Ergonomics has long been an important issue in the auto manufacturing sector. Many analysis tools that are used by ergonomists today were developed through work in that arena.