Two companies have been recognized for their creative solutions to ergonomic challenges in the workplace. MilliporeSigma and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company are the winners of Humantech, Inc.’s 10th annual Find It – Fix it Challenge, a contest that recognizes effective workplace solutions that increase productivity and reduce workplace injuries and illnesses.
MilliporeSigma’s Sheboygan Falls, WI, plant won top honors in the “simple” category and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Hanau DDC*H facility located in Hanau, Germany won the “complex” category.
The Find It – Fix It Challenge is based on making quick changes to improve ergonomic issues in the workplace. This year, Humantech clients who subscribe to The Humantech System® were eligible to submit entries in one of two categories: easy-to-fix solutions that cost little to implement are categorized as “simple,” and improvements that require more time and resources make up the “complex” category. From nearly 70 entries from 23 companies, one winner and two honorable mentions were selected in each category.
MilliporeSigma’s winning entry “Vessel Bottom Valve Replacement” saves the company thousands of dollars each year in labor and potential occupational injury costs. Prior to the fix, two operators were required to lift a valve weighing between 27 and 73 pounds overhead, hold it in place, and bolt it to a glass-lined vessel while standing on a ladder. To improve the task, the company purchased a table and jack, costing less than $3,000, to hold the valve in place while one worker affixes the unit. Honorable mentions in this category went to Genie Industries Moses Lake, WA plant and to The Timken Company’s Chennai, India plant.
The winner of the “complex” category is The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for its “Lifting at High Speed Test Machine” entry. Prior to the improvement, an operator had to manually lift and install a tire and rim assembly weighing between 120 and 140 pounds to a test machine two to three times per shift. The company purchased a lift device that eliminated all lifting and lowering tasks. Honorable mentions for this category go to Cardinal Health’s Cuauhtemoc, Mexico plant and to Ashland’s Ashland, OH plant.