Ergonomics ROI: Four Case Studies
Here are four case studies you can cite to demonstrate that ergonomics has a positive ROI:
Workers packing cartons of epoxy products with two different size pails, gloves and a stir stick started experiencing wrist and back pain. 3M switched to plastic pouches, eliminating the need for the pails and sticks. This reduced reaching motions. The aches went away. And 3M is now saving $250,000 per year.
2. KeySpan Energy
The gas and electric giant was experiencing a rash of repetitive stress back injuries. It called in an ergonomics consultant to do a comprehensive workplace assessment. The consultant made a series of relatively low-cost solutions. Implementing all of them cost KeySpan $200,000. But it reports that for each dollar spent it’s now saving four dollars in injury prevention.
3. Goldkist Inc.
The second largest chicken processor in the U.S. reconfigured an inspection line in which workers removed rejected birds from the conveyor, carried them six feet to a rejection line and hung each bird at head height. In addition to eliminating the six-foot walk, Goldkist reduced the height of hanging to elbow level, improving productivity and reducing shoulder stress. As a result of these and other ergonomic initiatives, Goldkist’s recordable injury rate is 10.33 per 100 workers, 38 percent less than the industry average of 16.6.
4. Pratt & Whitney
The aircraft manufacturer has implemented a wide range of ergonomic solutions, some costing as little as $2. Even solutions costing $100,000 have shown a positive ROI in less than three months, according to a P & W health and safety engineer.