A French government agency report on Lean and Safety | EU-OSHA

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“The implementation of this organizational model of production [Lean] may result if certain conditions are not met, in a deterioration of the workers´ health (musculoskeletal disorders, psychosocial risks, accidents).”

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

This document, from a French government agency, asserts that the implementation of Lean could make saferty worse in French plants. This might suggest that, without Lean, safety in French plants is adequate.

Lean is debated in France with the zero-sum assumption that, if you improve productivity and quality, it can only be at the expense of something else, usually safety. The idea that you can improve all dimensions of performance at the same time is not accepted.

My experience of French plants is of safety levels that are perhaps higher than China’s but a far cry from what you see in Japan or the US. The accidents waiting to happen range from people and forklifts sharing space without marked aisles, wine served in factory cafeterias, slick floors in metal working shops, operator jobs that require long carries of heavy parts,…

While it is conceivable that a poor Lean implementation could make this even worse, a reasonably good one is guaranteed to improve on this dismal situation, simply by paying long overdue attention to the details of operator job designs. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the INRS summary of recommendations, but they are already part of Lean.

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