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Frontiers March 2013 Issue

16 BOEING FRONTIERS / MARCH 2013 engineer for Engineering, Operations & Technology. “Boeing is doing excellent work to continually reduce the risk of injuries in our factories, but a researcher sitting at a laboratory workbench needs to be just as mindful of his or her safety,” Burgess said. The research group includes 162 laboratories, with employees at all major sites and many smaller facilities across the company. They conduct monthly safety assessments of each lab and quarterly inspections of each office environment. Its geographically dispersed sites share lessons learned and best practices through safety meetings and a newsletter that every employee receives. A key safety project is Lean Labs, which has helped improve safety in 25 labs since 2011. Improvements include designing variable workstations with adjustable desks and chairs, and placing heavy or awkward objects on wheeled or hydraulic carts for easier movement. “We don’t go into labs and tell employees how to do their jobs better. We point out waste and help them not work as hard,” explained Bill Mountain, Lean Labs leader. The 737 safety program is based on the principle of continu-ous improvement, and “it permeates the whole environment,” said Les Weige, director of 737 Environment, Health and Safety. “It also means we empower each employee to take an active role in creating a safer workplace.” In Wing Laydown, for example, an employee team led the process to relocate the task of torquing a strut link from inside the wing’s confined space to outside, eliminating the need for employees to contort themselves into awkward positions. Another employee team designed a better wire bundle instal-lation process that reduced stress and ergonomics injuries to electricians’ hands and wrists. And numerous tool and process changes are reducing the risk of ergonomics injuries in the 737 paint hangars. Safety education also is being expanded to include online videos. Safety leaders say it’s vital that employees know their safety concerns are being heard and addressed. “We don’t let safety issues get pushed into the shadows,” said Bill Easley, a 737 safety manager. Safety improvement progress, he added, is tracked and visible through several major systems, regular safety meetings and factory walks. Eric Lindblad, vice president of Manufacturing Operations for the 737 program, said creating a safer work environment also means watching out for a co-worker’s safety. “It’s not only about me,” Lindblad said. “It’s equally important to check and see if the people around us are doing things in the safe way. Safety has to be part of everything we do every day, all day.” Dave Pasillas, mechanic in 737 Wing Laydown, agreed. “No one can force you to be safe. You have to make that decision on your own. When team members together make a decision to look out for each other, we come together stronger than before.” n patrick.a.summers@boeing.com For more about safety, see story on Page 7. PHOTOS: (From far left) Adjustable workstations in the Boeing Research & Technology composite laboratory at the Ridley Park site near Philadelphia help technicians such as John Delconte reduce ergonomics injuries. FRED TROILO/BOEING A small light attached to his face mask helps mechanic Mike Dawley better see the task at hand and reduce potential safety risks. MARIAN LOCKHART/BOEING Lab engineer Ben Lavallee, background, and technician Ed Palmer slide large plates onto a rack equipped with ball bearings that reduce the strain of moving heavy objects at the Ridley Park composite laboratory. FRED TROILO/BOEING Electrician Monica Sherman covers a rail track to reduce the risk of trip and fall injuries in 737 Final Assembly. MARIAN LOCKHART/BOEING 0


Frontiers March 2013 Issue
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