Sustainable MSD prevention

Management for continuous improvement between prevention and production. Ergonomic intervention in two assembly line companies
To increase output and meet customers' needs, companies have turned to the development of production management systems: Kaizen, one piece flow, Kanban, etc. The aim of such systems is to accelerate decisions, react to environmental issues and manage various productions. In the main, this type of management system has led to the continuous improvement of production performance. Consequently, such production management systems can have unexpected negative effects on operators' health and safety. Conversely, regulation and control systems focusing on work-related risks have obliged firms to implement health and safety management systems such as OHSAS 18001. The purpose of this type of system, also based on continuous improvement, is to reduce risks, facilitate work-related activities and identify solutions in terms of equipment and tools. However, the prevention actions introduced through health and safety systems often result in other unexpected and unwanted effects on production. This paper shows how companies can improve the way they are run by taking into account both types of management system.

Source : Applied Ergonomics, vol. 41, no 4, July 2010, p. 591-599.

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