According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone. The costs of workplace injuries and illnesses include both direct and indirect costs. Indirect costs of injuries may be significantly higher than direct costs.
Direct Costs:Workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, legal services
Indirect Costs: Training replacement employees, accident investigation and implementation of corrective measures, lost productivity, repairs of damaged equipment and property, costs associated with lower employee morale and absenteeism.
The highest percentage of injuries is from overexertion. Overexertion injuries are related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing objects. These injuries alone cost businesses $15.08 billion in direct costs and accounted for nearly a quarter of the overall national burden.
These are the types of injuries that can be reduced by integrating our Jack human simulation software into your manufacturing planning processes.
Most employers have adopted some type of manufacturing improvement initiative. However, without considering human factors these initiatives could create more ergonomic problems and lead to an increase in injury statistics and workers’ compensation costs.
For example, sometimes increasing efficiency means eliminating non-value added tasks or motions. This usually results in less wait times, walking, etc. Some of these changes could be detrimental to safety, if they are now causing the worker to be fatigued. You can use our human simulation tools to assess whether you have left enough rest time in the cycle to avoid injury risk from fatigue. The software can also help identify when to rotate the worker to a task that is less demanding for a particular body element. Making changes to a layout or process without considering human factors could also result in harmful postures or loading conditions.
In addition to reducing injury risk, our human simulation tools can help boost manufacturing improvement initiatives. Improving ergonomics at the workstation level can significantly improve time savings at the work cell level. Eliminating ergonomic hazards such as, poor reach, clearance, or visibility, harmful exertions, awkward postures and fatigue leads to a more efficient workplace and improved employee performance and morale. Efforts to reduce ergonomic hazards can reduce cycle times and increase productivity.
Before any physical changes have been made to the layout or process, you can use our tools to virtually simulate and assess manual operations, as follows:
- Reduce the risk of injury by analyzing the worker’s postures, strain on joints and stress on lower back. Are exertion force requirements possible and safe?
- Identify whether there is enough rest time in the cycle to avoid injury risk from fatigue.
- Identify tasks that require the most recovery time and muscle groups that are under the most strain.
- Staffing requirements are better determined upfront by assessing reach, checking worker accommodation, vision, and analyzing biomechanical loads on the joints.
- Productivity can be improved by predicting the time required to perform certain tasks based on the methods-time measurement (MTM-1) system.
- Determine if process is feasible with current worker population, sequence of operations and current layout.
- Simulations can then be reused for training workers, design reviews, service manuals and documentation, long before facilities are constructed or without the danger and lost productivity of “on line” training.
Employers that invest in human simulation can help to reduce injuries. This will result in cost savings by lowering workers’ compensation costs and medical expenses, avoiding OSHA and other regulatory agency penalties, reducing costs to train replacement employees, and will add improvements to an organization’s productivity and financial performance.
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