Ergonomics winners lighten load of molten metal

Congrats to ESCO Coquitlam – winner of WorkSafeBC’s 2013 Ergonomics Innovation contest. One worker said the solution offers “a night and day difference.” 

Photo of worker at ESCO using ergonomics innovation

Photo credit: ESCO Corp. Port Coquitlam

It was heavy, hot, and awkward – but thanks to this innovation, it’s “a night and day difference,” says Pete Huget, site manager at ESCO Corporation – a metal foundry in Port Coquitlam, BC.

His safety team designed and built a pivot roller device and storage rack to eliminate the need to lift the rabble from the floor. The device also aids in the movement of the rabble from the storage location to the point of use. In case you don’t know, a “rabble” is a long tool used for mixing molten metal.

This ergonomic innovation is the winning submission to the 2013 Innovations Contest held by WorkSafeBC to celebrate Occupational Ergonomics Month, in October. It’s an example of something that can” eliminate or reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury (MSI) associated with manual materials handling tasks in the workplace,” reads the contest info.

I asked Pete what kind of reaction he got from his team when they won their $200 gift certificate for lunch.

“Port Coquitlam was extremely excited to be recognized for our improvement by WorkSafe BC. This is the first award of its kind for Port Coquitlam and our focus on safety is paying off,” he said.

“In discussion with the operators they cannot believe how easy the new tool is to use. One operator even said ‘It is a night and day difference’… It doesn’t always take money or some fancy new machine to make safety improvements but rather a group of motivated employees to make the work area safer. As leaders, it is our responsibility to provide the venue to empower employees to ensure safety is a core value.”

Thanks so much to Pete for these wise words – good food for thought when we are looking for solutions to any challenge, if you think about it. Congratulations to the team at ESCO.


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