Ergonomic risk reduction to enhance lean transformation

Faisal Aqlan, Sarah S. Lam, Michael Testani, Sreekanth Ramakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Workplace ergonomics is becoming more important for manufacturing environments. Effective ergonomic strategies can increase productivity, reduce work injuries, and improve workstation design and layout. Workplace ergonomics and lean manufacturing are highly inter-related. Ergonomic risks can lead to lean wastes and vice versa. Ergonomics can support lean transformation and lean transformation can lead to ergonomic risk reduction. This research utilizes traditional lean tools, including value stream mapping, Fishbone analysis, and spaghetti diagrams, for ergonomic risk assessment to enhance a Lean transformation. A framework for integrating ergonomic risk assessment with lean is proposed in this study. Implementing lean techniques is based on five main steps: identify value, map value stream, create flow, establish pull, and seek perfection. Ergonomic assessment consists of needs identification, risk mapping, risk assessment, risk elimination, and standardization. The proposed framework combines lean and ergonomic steps to effectively eliminate lean and ergonomic wastes. A case study supported by digital human modeling from a high-end server manufacturing environment is presented. It is shown that using the proposed framework to implement ergonomic improvements to the current manual processes in server manufacturing will reduce the ergonomic risks, increase operators' performance, and improve corporate image. These ergonomic improvements support Lean transformation by eliminating the related lean wastes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
EventIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2013 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: May 18 2013May 22 2013


OtherIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2013
Country/TerritoryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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