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Maximizing Employee Safety and Health: A Case History.

Every company recognizes that employee health is crucial to its productivity. Two major goals top the list to create and maintain a healthy work environment:

  1. Optimize ergonomics for the task to be performed, especially when different workers use the same workstation.
  2. Create a safe work environment that does not negatively affect short-term or long-term employee health.

Recently, a global orthopedics device company that manufactures joint reconstruction, spine, and sports medicine products asked Workplace to design a purpose-built workstation. It needed to meet their rigorous ergonomics and safety requirements. The manufacturing operations to be performed at the workstation included grinding, polishing, and buffing titanium prosthetics used in reconstructive surgery such as hip and knee replacements.

Five Ergonomic and Safety Requirements

Meeting with Workplace engineers, the customer outlined both ergonomic and worker safety concerns with their existing workstations, which had been modified in-house. They asked Workplace to respond to five specific requirements:

Ergonomic requirements:

  1. A reliable automated adjustable height workstation that accommodated workers of different heights and reaches.
  2. Adequate task lighting.
  3. Ability for different operators to easily access documentation that accompanies the part being manufactured.

Employee health/safety requirements:

  1. Effective removal of particulates and dust created by the grinding and polishing processes.
  2. Conveniently located quick-disconnect connectors for pneumatic tools to eliminate hoses interfering with the work area.


What does “Purpose-Built
Workstation” mean?

“Purpose-built” does not mean “custom-designed
and then custom-built from the ground up.”

A purpose-built workstation includes a level of engineering
using a base platform and a unique combination of
accessories to adapt it to a specific use.

A purpose-built workstation is still completely recognizable
as the standard product on which it is based.

The 4-step Purpose Built Workstation Collaboration Process.

  1. Facilitated by a Workplace Design Specialist, the customer met with Workplace engineers (via Zoom).
  2. The engineers responded to the customer’s requirements with a plan based on the Direct Drive adjustable height workstation platform.
  3. The customer reviewed the Workplace proposal and suggested several changes to the initial design.
  4. Following final customer approval, Workplace manufactured the workstation to the agreed-upon design specs.

The 7 elements of the Workplace purpose-built solution.

This purpose-built solution is built on the Direct Drive™ adjustable height platform. Direct Drive provides the flexibility needed to accommodate the ergonomic needs of multiple employees. It also includes standard casters for mobility. To meet the customer’s safety requirements Workplace engineered four modifications plus three standard accessories.

Purpose-built downdraft workstation with accessories

Engineered product modifications:

1. An opening in the center of the durable and easy-to-clean phenolic tabletop is fitted with a stainless-steel Downdraft Grate.

2. To complete the venting system, the grate connects to a 6” diameter pipe beneath the tabletop, which in turn connects to the company’s central dust collection system.

3. Quick-disconnect connectors are incorporated into the workstation’s structural frame at the front of the workstation. They provide a convenient and safe location for connecting pneumatic tools, keeping hoses off the worksurface.

4. A safety panel fitted to the rear of the workstation, both top and bottom, aids dust containment. A panel cutout provides machine access to the product being worked on.

Additional accessories:

5. A standard floating laptop/tablet mounting arm (not shown) provides easy-to-reach access to documentation.6. An adjustable lighting system equipped with a high-performance LED task light affords overall illumination of the worksurface.
7. An adjustable LED machine light and adjustable magnifying luminaire provide up-close illumination of the product being worked on.

Five Conclusions.

  1. Purpose-built workstations keep employee health and safety as a top priority.
  2. Workplace Purpose-built workstations offer an engineered design integrated into a platform using a unique combination of accessories that meets specific task requirements.
  3. A successful purpose-built workstation depends on close collaboration between the customer and Workplace engineers.
  4. Purpose-built workstations offer greater value and faster delivery than custom-built designs.
  5. Workplace engineers and design specialists are ready to discuss your purpose-built requirements.

Read About Other Purpose Built Solutions From Workplace:

• IMPROVING AN ASSEMBLY PROCESS WITH A PURPOSE BUILT WORKSTATION.
• INSPECTION TASK FLEXIBILITY WITH A PURPOSE BUILT WORKSTATION.
• VISIT THE WORKPLACE PURPOSE BUILT WEB PAGE.