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Participatory ergonomics in the red meat packing industry: a case study of a corporation and a plant.

Moore JS; Garg A
Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1994 Feb; :1-178
The effectiveness of the participatory approach was investigated in solving ergonomics problems, particularly related to the upper extremity in the red meat packing industry. The sites selected for study involved two components. The first was the description of a corporate ergonomics program and the second was a demonstration project that examined the activities and performance of two ergonomics teams in a single facility of the Hormel Foods Corporation. The following factors were noted during the years following the implementation of the participatory ergonomics program: a significant increase in the crude incidence rate, a marked decrease in the lost time incidence rate, a significant reduction in the percentage of recordable disorders that were ergonomics related, a marked reduction in total and per capita annual workers' compensation costs, no adverse effect on quality, a possible favorable effect on quality, and no adverse effect on productivity. The factory noted a significant increase in the crude incidence rate, an increase in the lost time incidence rate but a shift from lost days to restricted days, no significant change in the severity rate, no change in the percentage of recordables that were ergonomics related, and an almost linear decrease in annual workers' compensation costs. The authors conclude that participatory ergonomics teams using structured problem solving methods can effectively manage musculoskeletal hazards to the upper extremities in meat packing.
NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Human-factors-engineering; Meat-packing-industry; Meat-handlers; Lost-work-days; Manual-materials-handling; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders;
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Cooperative Agreement Report
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Source Name
Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Performing Organization
Medical College of Wisconsin
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division