Servizi Italia Spa & ErgoCert – Ergonomics Certifying Institute
Gabriele Cesari – Fabio Popovich – Servizi Italia
Francesco Marcolin – Marco Bordignon – ErgoCert
What does it mean to be among the 10 organizations awarded by the European Agency for excellence in best practices as a healthy workplace?
In laundries, intrinsic ergonomic risk is very high as well as production targets. That’s why, in 2012 in cooperation with our technical partner ErgoCert, Servizi Italia launched a long process aimed at increasing our ergonomic standards. We adopted an integrated approach (technical improvements, job rotation, training on the job) to reduce risks as much as possible.
It was a great satisfaction for us to see this ten-year work recognized as Good Practice by EU OSHA and to receive the “Lighten the Load” award.
What was the application of portable Wi-Fi technology (a portable inertial system) for the computerized analysis of movements and postures at the different workstations?
ErgoCert extensively applied inertial motion captures systems and sensorized gloves (150 hours of data – 90 workers) in order to objectify ergonomics factors such as upper limbs and rachis awkward postures, frequency of movements and applied forces. Risk indexes (OCRA, NIOSH, ecc) were calculated through instrumental data, reducing analysis times and increasing accuracy.
Data were also very useful in order to include workplace design (anthropometrics vs dimensions) and production process in ergonomic analysis.
One of the decisions taken was the adaptation to the body size of workstations and equipment, which were predominantly used by women, what changes have employees experienced when incorporating this improvement?
With ErgoCert support, Servizi Italia implemented technical modification in the workplaces. For example, we asked to manufacturers to make adjustable work height in different ironing machines, in order to better fit operators having different statures. In other cases, thanks to workers cooperation, we defined the best compromise in workstation set-up. We instrumentally evaluated again workstations to double-check the effectiveness of intervention.
These improvements were very important to re-open some job rotation for medical limitated workers. From organizational view point job rotation, was implemented as much as possible to offer physical and mental variation.
Training on the Job sessions were run to increase worker’s awareness about subjective operational modes that may impact on risk and to collect suggestions from the workers.
What new projects are you working on to promote the prevention and health of workers? Together with ErgoCert, we are starting development of a specific software to better manage workers exposure to ergonomic risk.