Yamaha leaned into Ergo-ology’s ELP® (ergonomics leadership program) at the start of 2022 with hopes of engaging employees, developing a formalized process, and driving positive change to their workstations. A quick 24 months later, the Newnan, GA facility has built framework for a world-class employee engagement program applied ergonomics program.
The plan consisted of building ergonomics teams. These teams consist of operation employees from different departments who were educated on ergonomic topics and mentored on implementing an ergonomics process. DeeDee Harden (an operations employee in the ROV department) said, “The training has been easier than I thought it would be to understand. Ergonomics kind of seems straightforward and when Ergo-ology teaches us, they use real world examples to help me connect to the main point. I take the information from our team meeting and share the same insights with those I work with on the assembly line.”
Though the teams are the cornerstone of the program, Yamaha has also entrusted Ergo-ology to assist with formalizing the overall process for identifying, assessing, and implementing solutions. By formulating a process, each department understands the role they play in the bigger picture of physical and process change. Through the project, Yamaha was able to not only engage departments like Continuous Improvement, Engineering, and R&D but also realized the critical path that different types of solutions should follow to be effectively implemented. “Ergo-ology brings decades of experience in this space. They asked the right questions to get our management team thinking about how to best allocate our resources to achieve our specific goals”, Jason Broshear, Division Manager EHS.
Driving change is what people see but along the way; but developing employee capabilities and improving the overall culture is the piece that sustains the program. Bob Brown, VP of Operations and Finance, said “When you are running a manufacturing facility as large as Yamaha, safety must be your number one concern. Our people are our priority. That’s why we’ve implemented this specific type of ergonomic program.”
Between the 3 ergonomics teams there have been a total of 136 problems identified. Team members have conducted risk screenings on over +110 tasks and implemented 67 ergonomics solutions. Most all these solutions reduce risk, increase production, and improve the overall quality of work. Billy McGlamory, an engineer tech ROV commented, “Employees are driving most of the solutions, not technical experts. We depend on Ergo-ology for those hard to solve issues but for the most part, our employees are taking the knowledge and mentorship from Ergo-ology and putting it to practice”.
Yamaha is expanding the ergonomics program footprint in 2024. The site will be adding two additional ergonomics teams and continue to be the tip of the spear for ergonomics and process improvement throughout the Yamaha Corporation.
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