Engineering MSI Prevention | Ergonomics and job-rotation pathway to safety at Mauser Packaging

Langley’s Mauser Packaging Solutions earned the Occupational Standard of Excellence certification in September, with a score of 95 per cent on the robust OSSE audit.

~written by Jennifer Wiebe

Mauser’s 160-employee Langley facility is part of a multinational corporation with 11,000 employees. The Langley packaging plant produces plastic pails and specialty containers for fruit packers, grocery, and other purposes, and serves buyers in Canada and the Western United States.

In an interview with the Aldergrove Star following the company’s OSSE certificate presentation, Plant Manager Matthew Ralph said, “I’ve been a manager through two major accidents in my career, and I think when you’ve been through that, you really gain an understanding. You never want to see anybody get hurt.”

“I’ve been a manager through two major accidents in my career, and I think when you’ve been through that, you really gain an understanding. You never want to see anybody get hurt.”

North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week initiatives over the past six years have been a key factor in the development of Mauser’s health and safety culture.

Mauser uses heat maps to track and trend concerns in their facilities. This allows them to be able to see areas of concerns visually. Highly visible action plans and safety boards keep health and safety top of mind and help keep staff informed.

With repetitive work, workers are more prone to aches and strains. As is true in many production environments, Safety Coordinator Maureen Johnson notes that aches and strains like this are the cause of the majority of time-loss claims at the company. Repetitive motion can increase the risk of injury even when employees are doing the job correctly.

In response, Mauser introduced a stretching program and hired a consultant who comes in to do guided stretching sessions with all shifts. The instructor offers one-on-one discussions and recommendations for stretches to help with specific discomfort and pain. The company has also mapped out a walking path for stretching and exercising on breaks around the outside of their building.

In September, the company’s ergonomics committee added a job-rotation system which shifts machine operators from station to station every hour or two. The company also leverages an instructor’s ergonomics expertise to do task-specific ergonomic assessments and evaluate the frequency of rotation required to avoid repetitive motion injuries. In recognition of this work, last April, Mauser received the Safety Innovator Award for workplace wellness. At the Pinnacle Safety Awards Gala this April, Mauser will receive the Topaz Award in recognition of the company’s 2019 OSSE certification.

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