Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Overcoming Production Disruption When Adopting New Technologies: Application of Macroergonomics and Safety Culture:
- Author(s): Naca, Christine L
- Rempel, David M
- Imada, Andy S
- Alexandre, Melanie A
- Janowitz, Ira L
- et al.
Organizations are constantly responding to new technologies that require an appropriate response to remain competitive. Depending on the nature of the technologic changes, incremental changes may be adequate. However, at some point, the technical demands may be disruptive because the organization is unable to respond adequately. In this case study of a biotechnology production facility, rapidly changing customer and technological demands created a crisis manifested in rising employee injuries and production interruptions. The crisis was ultimately addressed through a comprehensive redesign of human-system relationships. Key ingredients included: a management willing to examine the entire production system, a multidisciplinary team coordinating efforts towards a common goal, engagement of staff at all levels of the organization, and the creation of feedback channels to better guide the actions of supervisors and managers. The methods used in this successful case study, involving a macroergonomics approach, can be applied to any private or public enterprise.