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ErgoVSM: A Tool for Integrating Value Stream Mapping and Ergonomics in Manufacturing

Journal article
Authors Caroline Jarebrant
Jörgen Winkel
Jan Johansson Hanse
Svend Erik Mathiassen
Birgitta Öjmertz
Published in Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 191–204
ISSN 1090-8471
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Department of Psychology
Pages 191–204
Language en
Keywords Produktionsergonomi, Production Ergonomics, Lean Production
Subject categories Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics, Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Applied Psychology, Work Sciences


Value stream mapping (VSM) is a Lean tool aiming at waste reduction. Previous research suggests that the use of VSM may result in work intensification and thus an increased risk for the workers of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). In the current study, VSM was developed to also consider physical exposure in the analyzed production system (ErgoVSM). As the VSM, ErgoVSM is based on a participatory approach. ErgoVSM was tested in a Swedish manufacturing company. The results suggest that ErgoVSM catalyzes change processes to include intervention proposals emphasizing ergonomics in addition to waste reduction. Thus, ErgoVSM appeared useful for the investigated target group of production engineers and experienced operators. The performance improvements suggested when using the ordinary VSM seemed not to be hampered by adding the ergonomics complement. However, the use of ErgoVSM was somewhat more time-consuming than the use of VSM. In conclusion, ErgoVSM is suggested as a feasible tool to be used by production engineers and experienced operators for including ergonomics considerations in the rationalization process.

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