Friday, April 29, 2011

Ford Designs Ergonomic Workstation To Ease Work for Older Workers

An aging population in Europe and increases in retirement ages in some countries led Ford to put together a team of occupational physicians, production specialists, labor groups and representatives for disabled employees to improve the ergonomics, safety and productivity on the assembly line. A result of this effort has been the creation of an advanced ergonomic work station--the "Happy Seat"--that reduces chronic injuries and lower health costs.

According to Martin Chapman, operations plant manager in Cologne factory, where Ford produces the Fiesta:
Employees just push themselves back and forth and the chair swings in and out of the cabin--very simply and not requiring much physical effort. And the back feels fine, allowing employees to remain in employment longer to the benefit of Ford--ideally until they reach the age of retirement, the age of which many European governments have raised only recently.
Other measures employed by Ford to ensure production line workers’ health include movable platforms to raise vehicle chassis to different heights at various workstations, preventing excessive stretching and bending by employees; virtual software programs to design the most ergonomic production processes possible; and Santos, a computerised avatar that performs actions in the virtual world to help Ford improve quality, safety and ergonomics for its assembly line employees.

Source: Press Release Ford Motor Co. (April 26, 2011)

No comments: