Human Factors North Inc. (HFN), contracted by CUPW and CPC to conduct an ergonomic review of the multi-line optical character reader (MLOCR), submitted its report to the parties at the December 3, 2014 meeting of the National Joint Health & Safety Committee (NJHSC). The final report contains a number of reviews (estimated frequency of sweeping the stackers, estimated range of joint motion, Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA), JACK analysis). With these reviews, HFN ergonomists drew major conclusions from the ergonomic and engineering review of the operation of the MLOCR These conclusions deal with physical concerns related to the feeding and sweeping tasks, the manner by which work procedures adopted by MLOCR operators can impact musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) risk, as well as the fact that the dimensions of the sweeping stackers do not meet ergonomic design criteria (with respect to the 5th and 95th percentile stature), and that the organization of MLOCR work can impact MSD risk in terms of physical and psychosocial stressors.
These conclusions are not surprising. Upon reading the report and, more specifically, Appendix "A," we can see the problems experienced by MLOCR operators. The 566 surveys filled out in the three work locations under review (Winnipeg, Montreal and Toronto South Central) provide clear and significant data.
HFN ergonomists reviewed 270 work injuries reports (195 MSD-related) involving the MLOCR since its implementation. They analyzed the data collected in the surveys and observed 28 volunteers from the three offices. Finally, they proposed solutions to improve MLOCR working conditions. These 26 recommendations were prioritized. They deal with:
At a meeting held on December 3, 2014, the Union asked whether the Corporation would implement the recommendations contained in HFN' s report. The Corporation agreed to implement all recommendations. The NJHSC will be responsible for overseeing implementation of these recommendations. CUPW insisted on the urgency of the situation, stating that since the MLOCR was introduced in March 2010, our members have been experiencing pain and discomfort on a daily basis.
The Union would like to thank the brothers and sisters in these three locations for their participation, both with the surveys and during workplace observations conducted by the ergonomists. Because of your knowledge of the workplace and your involvement, all workers across the country will benefit from the improvements made to MLOCR work. CUPW will ensure that the Corporation implements all recommendations as quickly as possible.
More information on the recommendation will be sent out soon.