[Editor’s Note: this is Part III of a four-part series. The first two points, below, were discussed in Parts I and II of this series (March and April, 2002). The fourth point will be discussed in the June edition of The Ergonomics Report.]
For ergonomics to make business sense, it must be deployed as a business initiative. Some characteristics that are common among successful business improvement initiatives are:
A logical sequence of plan-do-check-act that nontechnical managers can understand
Effective methods for evaluating potential problems and solutions, which yield clear priorities
Continuous attention to improving the existing environment, and an upstream focus on new product/process introductions
Swift change implementation only when everyone agrees that the benefit will be greater than the cost (financially and otherwise)
The third point ensures a balance between fixing problems and preventing future problems. Both elements are necessary for an initiative to show immediate impact while ensuring sustained success.
Continuous Improvement of the Current Workplace
Most people are familiar with this element of ergonomics
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2002-05-01.