Original Date: 06/26/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Pre-Shift Stretching For Injury Prevention
Dayton Parts, Inc. (DPI) established a successful injury prevention program that has produced significant savings in dollars and employee injuries. DPI experienced high injury rates and consequent workers compensation costs in the late 1980s. To combat these problems, the company analyzed injury data to determine problems that led to injuries. This analysis revealed that approximately 80% of all manufacturing injuries occurred within the first two hours of each shift.
DPI requested production workers to perform stretching exercises prior to beginning their work. DPI's initial stretching program was implemented in 1990 and included classroom training and two weeks of mandatory stretching. After the two-week period, employees could voluntarily continue stretching each day, and a core group continued with the program for a year.
At the end of the year, none of the employees in the stretching group had been injured. This result influenced DPI to make stretching exercises mandatory again in 1992. All employees are now required to stretch for 10 to 15 minutes before starting production work. This time is included within the normal work shift.
This stretching program costs about $75K per year to operate. However, in conjunction with other safety initiatives, it has returned significant savings to DPI. For example, the annual cost of workers compensation at DPI has decreased from $700K to $200K per year. In 1994, $500K of the workers compensation premium was refunded to the company. This money was included in the quarterly profit and contributed to employee bonuses that quarter.
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