What Does Lean Management Have to do With Ergonomics?

Philipp Taufer
04. October 2022

The main task of lean management is to make the value-adding chain as efficient as possible. This involves taking a closer look at thought principles, methods and procedures in company and adapting and improving where necessary. In doing so, waste is to be avoided where possible. Waste in relation to lean management is:

  • Unnecessary internal transport
  • High material stock
  • Unnecessary movement
  • Waiting time
  • Overproduction
  • Faulty processes
  • Errors

In production, ensuring process reliability is the top priority. The aim is to achieve the highest possible flexibility and the shortest possible lead-times. This rewards customers with faster delivery times and allows us to respond more readily to fluctuations in demand on the market.


Linking lean management and ergonomics

Another waste in lean management is the lack of ergonomics. This leads to performance loss and can have a direct and negative impact on the people involved.

In the case of the human musculoskeletal system, we are talking about incorrect positioning of the joints, overloading of the muscles, and unnecessary strain on the spine. Poor lighting of the work area, for example, leads to strain and tiredness in the eyes. The consequences can be temporary visual problems and headaches. Such health complaints usually manifest themselves in loss of quality in the products and/or absences from work.

Designing a production workplace according to ergonomic aspects is a demanding task. For this purpose, we at KELLER have installed an in-house ergonomics workplace called «The Kaizen Workshop». Kaizen comes from Japan and describes a philosophy of life and work which focuses on continuous improvement. Our Kaizen mechanics strive to design workplaces that are as ergonomic as possible for our employees. The focus here is on correct posture, good illumination of the work area, arrangement of work equipment, while also considering reach and movement areas.

Kaizen Workshop

It is a matter of adapting working conditions to people and not the other way around. Thus, in addition to the business aspects, physical ergonomics in relation to people are at the center of efforts when optimizing work processes.

Designing a workplace in such a way that the best possible work results are achieved is a major challenge. Especially if physical and mental health is not only to be maintained, but also promoted. Challenging situations are studied with our health & safety officer and customized solutions are developed in close cooperation. 

Healthy employees are a company's most important resource. That is why we pay special attention to ergonomics and design of the working environment. We know from experience that good ergonomics influence well-being and performance in the workplace. By concentrating on this we can hopefully continue to count on healthy and motivated employees in the future.


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