Ceradyne Reduces Workers' Compensation Costs by 98% with an Ergonomics Process

Oct 30, 2012, 08:00 ET from Humantech, Inc.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Implementing an ergonomics process is how Ceradyne, Inc. reduced its workers' compensations costs by 98% since 2010. With the help of the workplace improvement experts at Humantech and their ergonomics assessment tools: The Ergonomics Hit List®, The BRIEF™ Survey, and the Best™ assessment, Ceradyne was able to obtain management approval, train its employees in how to conduct risk assessments, and reduce high-risk jobs to low- or no-risk jobs.

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Prior to 2010, Ceradyne had spent millions of dollars addressing ergonomics injuries. "Our main issue was that we did not have a plan, structure, or approach for conducting ergonomics risk assessments. We had to get this under control," says Tony Ewing, EHS Director of the North American division.

Obtaining management approval to implement a program at all their North American sites was a combined effort. After Ewing built the cost-justification case, he worked with Humantech to develop a strategy and proposed a detailed implementation plan to Ceradyne's President and the Chief Financial Officer. The plan was approved and set into motion.

The program was initially implemented at the company's larger plants. Each plant assembled a team, comprised of 10 to 12 employees, supervisors, and maintenance leads. "I wanted to get employees involved, get them doing risk assessments, and give them the tools they needed to fix their jobs," says Ewing.  

Humantech trained the entire team over the course of a week. Starting with a one-day blitz event, the next three days were spent identifying and analyzing high-risk jobs using the BRIEF Survey and Best assessment, and then ranking the scores to develop a prioritized list of high- and very high-risk jobs down to low-risk jobs. Each job was assigned to an employee to recommend corrective actions.

The program was first initiated at the Boron plant in Quapaw, OK in 2010. Since then, it has been implemented at the Thermo Materials plant in Atlanta, GA, and the Ceradyne ACO and Semicon Associates plants, both located in Lexington, KY. Since 2010, Ceradyne's recordable injuries have been reduced by 43 percent, workers' compensation claims and costs have dropped 51 percent and 98 percent, respectively. Ceradyne is committed to incorporating this ergonomics process across all twelve of its North American plants. To read the full case study click http://www.humantech.com/about/clients/ceradyne-case-study.

On October 2, 2012, 3M announced that it would acquire Ceradyne in a deal valuing the company $35 per share, for a total deal value of $860 million.  

For over 30 years, global companies have relied on Humantech for workplace improvements. By combining the science of ergonomics and our unique 30-Inch View®—where people, work, and environment intersect—we deliver practical solutions that impact safety, quality, and productivity. At Humantech, we believe people make productivity happen. For more information about our portfolio of products and services or the 30-Inch View, visit www.humantech.com.

SOURCE Humantech, Inc.