Shainin’s Experiment Design Methodology in Occupational Safety Assessment: Application Guidelines
Purpose: The article refers to the role of safety management measures and their significance for reducing the cost of accidents, injuries and diseases and costs resulting from disruptions of manufacturing processes, that are borne by employers. It is shown that for any improvement measures to be effective, it is vital to ascertain the nature of defects, the circumstances in which they occur and to eliminate their root causes. Design/Methodology/Approach: The article outlines the potential for assessing occupational safety by means of Shainin’s experiment design methods. It shows that the experiment techniques can be used to identify and assess problems with sufficient accuracy helping organizations to identify adequate process improvement measures. It enumerates the key prerequisites for the use of Shainin’s experiment design method and describes a relevant procedure that ensures the achievement of desired outcomes. Findings: A review of relevant literature shows that Shainin’s experiment design methods, which were originally developed to improve manufacturing processes, can be used to address issues in the production working environment. Practical implications: A procedure is developed for identifying key disruptions which, if eliminated, will improve working conditions and worker well-being. Examples are provided of the factors to be targeted to achieve the desired improvements in the working environment. In this manner, the study can help organizations choose and roll out adequate solutions that will suit their methodologies and lead to desired outcomes. The proposed procedure supports the identification of the working environment factors that significantly affect safety, and helps define their impacts and, consequently, improve the effectiveness of improvement measures. Originality/Value: While the article stops short of offering an example of the procedure, it points to the implications of experiments that are helpful in reducing occupational hazards. In the field of occupational safety, the article shows the potential of employing Shainin’s experiment design method to examine any well-defined issue and any issue having to do with the manufacturing environment and the conditions required for the safe operation of workers.