Coca-Cola wins ergonomics award

Humantech, Inc. announced Coca-Cola Refreshments as the winner of its seventh annual Find It – Fix It Challenge. The Find It – Fix It Challenge recognizes simple and effective workplace solutions that increase productivity, improve worker morale, and reduce workplace injuries and illnesses.
The contest was derived from Humantech's RAPID Team Events, which are based on making quick, simple, visible changes to improve ergonomic issues in the workplace. From over 180 entries received, representing 41 companies, one winner was selected.

The Coca-Cola Refreshments Odwalla plant located in Dinuba, Calif., took top honors with its "Off-loading Fruit" entry. The improvement focused on improving the posture of the worker responsible for off-loading fruit from the shipment container to a collection bin.

Prior to the fix, a worker had to prop a door open using a shovel, to control the flow of the fruit with one hand, while using the other hand to unlatch the door and sweep the fruit out of the container and into the bin. To perform this task, the employee was in a static, bent posture for 10 minutes, six to 10 times a day.

To address this issue, Coca-Cola Refreshments team members built a tool using spare pipe from their maintenance department. The tool allows the fruit to be released without the hand support of the worker.

"The employee teams never cease to amaze me by their ingenuity and creativity during our Ergo Kaizen (our Find It – Fix It) events. Not only did the Odwalla team demonstrate a creative way to address risks, they showed a palpable level of excitement with the project. Coca-Cola Refreshments' commitment to continuously improve our jobs is a result of the employees' excitement about ergonomics," said Bobbie Watts, corporate ergonomist with Coca-Cola Refreshments.