Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ergonomics in overdrive

Reducing injuries in automobile manufacturing plants ...

"Getting automakers to think long term about preventing workplace injuries was a tough sell when William Marras began his career in ergonomics 25 years ago.

But things have changed after years of skyrocketing health-care costs. With help from overseas automakers that have U.S. plants, Ohio State University is opening its Center for Occupational Health in Automotive Manufacturing today.

Marras, a professor with the university?s colleges of engineering and medicine, will run the center.

"This is the automotive-manufacturing facility of the future," Marras said during a tour of the lab at 1314 Kinnear Rd. "We could simulate building cars right on the line here."

In front of Marras was the body of a Honda CR-V, hanging in an overhead carrier that allows it to be moved up and down and rotated. Widespread use of such technology could prevent worker injuries from constant bending and reaching, he said.

... Ohio State?s new research center reflects an "evolution in ergonomics" for Honda, said Ed Miller, company spokesman.

"We?re thinking about ergonomics now even before we design our parts or set up our workstations," he said.

Research at the center should help automakers prevent injuries to shoulders, wrists and backs and reduce medical costs down the line, Marras said."    (Continued via The Columbus Dispatch)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Reducing Auto Manufacturing Injuries - Ergonomics

Reducing Auto Manufacturing Injuries

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