Macroergonomics at Honda
The Spine Research Institute has had a significant impact on the reduction of injuries and injury-associated costs within the automobile manufacturing industry. Our close partnership with Honda, in particular, has allowed us to improve the lives of the employees who are doing this work while also increasing productivity and profitability for their employers. As Forbes has reported, this partnership has helped lead to a 70% decrease in lost-time due to injury nationwide. A few projects related to these outcomes are highlighted below.
Door Line Assembly (single job)
In early 2004, the Spine Research Institute (SRI) partnered with Honda to address the high rates of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that were occurring on one of their door assembly lines. The outcome of the project was a reduction of 2.45 work-related MSDs every year on this line, as well as a significant increase in productivity. The $89,000 investment made by Honda, which was divided between workstation modifications and SRI fees, was returned in three months. Over a five-year period, the increased work efficiency and reduced injury costs that resulted from this project returned $1.8M ($360,000 per year) to Honda's bottom line, creating a 2023% return-on-investment.
In an effort to continue to improve the safety of their workers, Honda asked the Spine Research Institute to identify and address several ergo-related risks across their North American assembly plants. Just one year after the implementation of SRI's macroergonomics framework in all facilities, injuries fell by 92.9%. This drastic reduction in work-related injuries is estimated to have saved Honda $1.7M in direct medical costs for every 100 strains/sprains eliminated.
In addition to the frequency of injuries, Honda was also comitted to reducing the severity of strain and sprain injuries in their North American assembly plants. Six years after the continued integration of SRI's marcroergonomics processes, injury severity (defined as days lost due to injury) had dropped by nearly 88%.