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Cintas Reduces Its Total Incident Rate With Ergonomics



Ann Arbor, MICH: Humantech assisted the Document Management Division of Cintas in deploying an effective ergonomics process that has reduced its work-related musculoskeletal disorder incident rate by 59% over five years. “With our incident rate above the industry average in 2007, it was imperative to implement ergonomics to reduce our injury rates,” says Jay Gaubatz, Safety and Health Manager for Document Management Services.


Working alongside Cintas Partners in the field, Humantech’s certified professional ergonomists were able to identify and analyze high-risk tasks using the Workplace Ergonomics Risk Assessment (WERA™), a methodology used to rank order and prioritize non-cycle tasks from high-risk to low-risk.


The manual material handling of bins weighing upwards of 500 pounds was one of the jobs contributing to the high incident rate. The job tasks include collecting paper from executive consoles, pushing and pulling shred bins, dumping bags of paper, and lifting and lowering steel lift gates.


After the tasks were analyzed and the job improvement recommendations were provided, Cintas implemented the following company-wide improvement projects beginning with the highest-risk jobs:


    Replaced bags inside executive consoles with plastic liners. This improvement reduced the cycle time to 45 seconds per console, and raised the lifting height of the insert to within the partner’s comfort zone.


    Retrofitted shred bins with casters. The bins were originally designed with only two casters, which made them difficult to move. To reduce the force required to move the bins, they were retrofitted with four casters.


    Replaced 127-pound steel lift gates with 33-pound aluminum lift gates. Previously, to load a bin onto and off of a truck, the gate had to be pulled out from underneath a truck, unfolded, and set to the ground. This improvement reduced the injury risk from high to low.


The full ergonomics success story can be found on our website at /



For over 30 years, global companies have relied on Humantech for workplace improvements. By combining the science of ergonomics and our unique 30-Inch View®—where people, work, and environment intersect—we deliver practical solutions that impact safety, quality, and productivity. At Humantech, we know people make productivity happen.

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