A corporate workplace model for ergonomic assessments and improvements.Appl Ergon. 2008 Mar; 39(2):219-28.AE
Several companies have developed their own company-specific models for ergonomic improvements. This study aims to describe and identify factors supporting and hindering the implementation and application of one such corporate model for ergonomic assessment and improvement. The model has been developed by Volvo Car Corporation and implemented at an assembly plant in Göteborg, Sweden. The model is unique as it is intended to be used by production engineers and safety representatives in cooperation. The process for assessment of musculoskeletal risks is standardised and participatory, which also supports identification of solutions. Interviews, questionnaires, observation and document studies were used to evaluate the use of the model. The model was found to improve participation and collaboration among stakeholders; provide a more effective ergonomic improvement process; visually represent the ergonomics situation in the company; and give legitimacy to and awareness of ergonomics. However, the model was found to be rather resource demanding and dependent on support from management and unions. In particular, a substantial training programme and regular use of the model are needed.