The aspects of ergonomics play the key role in discussing the workplace safety and the process excellence in relation to the foundry industry. Failures in following the ergonomics criteria lead to the problems with the workload, environmental safety, and to the workers’ stress. Ergonomic characteristics are developed to avoid the psychological, muscular, and visual disturbances and stress, including fatigue, strain, soreness, tension, depression, and anxiety (Kroemer, Kroemer, & Kroemer-Elbert, 2001, p. 112).
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In their article “Ergonomic and Work Safety Evaluation Criteria of Process Excellence in the Foundry Industry” (2014), Butlewski, Misztal, Jasiulewicz-Kaczmarek, & Janik focus on the idea of the process excellence as the specific criteria related to the ergonomics assessment. The researchers chose to focus on the foundry industry. The researchers present the results from studying two foundry companies necessary to identify the factors affecting the aspects of ergonomics and work safety (Butlewski, Misztal, Jasiulewicz-Kaczmarek, & Janik, 2014, p. 701-702). Thus, the researchers use the identified factors to form the ergonomic assessment model for the foundry process since the criteria are characteristic for different types of industries; the purpose of the research is not only to present the concept and model but also to discuss their application, and the research’s strengths and weaknesses should be discussed in detail.
The problem is in the fact that the foundry industry is focused on finding the sources and models for improvement. In order to assess the potential for the improvement, it is necessary to focus on the specific excellence criteria which are numerous. Thus, to address the problem and to design the effective model, Butlewski and the group of researchers note that ergonomics and work safety are critical criteria in determining the process excellence in relation to the foundry industry. According to the researchers, the focus on the ergonomic parameters is important to discuss the process excellence in spite of the widespread automation of production lines (Butlewski et al., 2014, p. 702). The goal of the research is to identify the process excellence with the help of the assessment of ergonomic parameters and to design appropriate models.
While analyzing the research procedures discussed in the article, it is important to note that Butlewski and the group of researchers focused on conducting the study divided into several stages (Butlewski et al., 2014, p. 702). The first stage was the literature review. Having analyzed the literature on the problem, the researchers determined the criteria for improvement related to ergonomics and work safety in the foundry industry. In order to concentrate on the formal assessment of important parameters, the researchers chose to study the foundry processes in two enterprises. The next step was the analysis of the factors influencing the ergonomics and work safety in the enterprises.
The selected procedures based on the formal assessment of the criteria can be discussed as effective in relation to the format of the research because Butlewski and the group of researchers created a conceptual framework for the study, according to which they created a visual representation of the variables or theoretical constructs related to the factors influencing ergonomics in the foundry workplace (Butlewski et al., 2014, p. 702). The developed scale for assessing ergonomic factors is based on a range of measures, and it can be discussed as the model or visualization of the process excellence assessment. Furthermore, the researchers provided the correlation between the production volume and deficiencies related to the foundry industries in order to support the model.
Flaws in the Procedural Design
In spite of the fact that Butlewski and the group of researchers use the conceptual framework in their study to create an excellence process model for ergonomics and work safety in the foundry industry adequately, they do not provide the appropriate information on the selected foundry enterprises and do not present the important calculation to support the designed model and the example of the correlation between the production volume and deficiencies. The researchers’ model is based on identification of variables and factors important for the ergonomics and work safety from the literature review. However, the researchers do not present the actual discussion of the literature research, and they do not name the authors and types of researches to which they refer (Butlewski et al., 2014, p. 703). The above-mentioned details can be discussed as the main flaws in the procedural design and presentation of the research results as well as their discussion.
Analysis of the Data
Butlewski and the group of researchers chose to focus on such important factors to stimulate the improvement in the foundry industry as ergonomics and the work safety. While focusing on such associated problems and issues as microclimate, work duration, cognitive stresses, and some others, the researchers created the conceptual model to illustrate the approach to assessing the process excellence.
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As a result, the model was designed to address such factors as the heat, noise, vibration, dust, static load, dynamic load, and awkward posture which were measured according to such points as the started point, the point below the average performance, the point stating the average performance, the point to state the effective operations, and the point to state the best practices (Butlewski et al., 2014, p. 702). The model demonstrated the role of ergonomics factors in affecting the process excellence.
Butlewski and the other researchers made an assumption that the main source of improvement in the foundry process was the improvement of excellence in relation to the technology performance. The researchers built the illustrative model and focused on the comparison of techniques used in the foundry industry which can affect the process excellence in relation to the ergonomics factors (Butlewski et al., 2014, p. 702). Thus, it was found that the factors related to ergonomics can impact the employees’ satisfaction and performance at work. In order to support this idea, the researchers presented the percentage of deficiencies related to the production volume.
Limited and Justifiable Conclusions
Although Butlewski and the group of researchers support their findings with the effective conclusions and strategies for applying the results to the processes in the foundry industry, the authors’ conclusions are rather different, and they can be divided into limited and justifiable ones. The discussed research identifies that the conceptual framework and ergonomic factors are critical to affect the process excellence in the foundry industry.
This conclusion is supported with the research results and designed models and visualizations. Thus, Butlewski and the group of researchers conclude that their designed model can be effectively used to promote the improvement in relation to the idea of the process excellence (Butlewski et al., 2014, p. 703). The authors’ research supports the idea that affecting the ergonomic factors and work safety conditions, it is possible to contribute to the process’s improvement because of influencing the employees’ job satisfaction. These conclusions seem to be rather justifiable.
However, there are also limited conclusions related to the research because there is the lack of evidence to support Butlewski and the group of researchers’ assumptions and propositions (Butlewski et al., 2014, p. 703). In spite of the fact that the authors provide the reasonable models and illustrations dependent on scales to discuss the role of the ergonomic factors for the process excellence, the connection between the ergonomic criteria and the expected financial benefits is rather questionable. Focusing on the necessity of investment to the ergonomic aspect of the foundry industry, the authors do not provide the direct evidence to support the conclusions. Nevertheless, the conclusion about the strict correlation between the ergonomic factors and the process excellence to influence the improvement of the foundry industry is rather justifiable.
The discussed research can be considered as following the main criteria identified for the good research because the major authors’ conclusions are based on the results and data discussed in the article. The research presents an effective assessment model related to the ergonomics conditions and work safety factors based on a study of two enterprises from the foundry industry. The conceptual model can be discussed as applicable to the foundry workplace, and it can be used in order to assess and improve the factors related to ergonomics and work safety. Although the authors’ conclusions related to the financial sector can be discussed as limited, the research results and presented models can be widely used in the foundry industry.
Butlewski, M., Misztal, A., Jasiulewicz-Kaczmarek, M., & Janik, S. (2014). Ergonomic and work safety evaluation criteria of process excellence in the foundry industry. METABK, 53(4), 701-704. Web.
Kroemer, K., Kroemer, H., & Kroemer-Elbert, K. (2001). Ergonomics: How to design for ease and efficiency. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Web.