The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) awarded Michelin North America, Inc. and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company with 2021 Innovation Awards, part of USTMA’s Sustainability Awards for Workplace Safety and Health. In the technology category, USTMA honored Goodyear for its Goodyear motion capture app that performs ergonomic risk assessments. USTMA recognized Michelin for its “Bib Bowl” stretching initiative in the culture category. USTMA’s Innovation Award recognizes companies that implement proactive programs, technologies or systems that improve workplace health systems and cultures.
Recognizing innovations implemented in 2020, this year’s awards were especially meaningful given the safety hurdles presented by COVID-19, particularly in a manufacturing setting where essential employees were needed to be present in-person at the workplace.
“Last year was a challenging one for our industry and the country as a whole, and meeting the demands of workplace safety took on even greater importance. With a vision to have zero workplace injuries and illnesses, USTMA members are constantly exploring innovative approaches to address safety, especially ergonomics, the most frequent injury in the tire manufacturing,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO. “Michelin and Goodyear implemented programs that provide team members with the information they need to encourage safety and health coupled with an engaging approach to increase adoption. We thank all our members for putting safety first and congratulate those who submitted their projects for an Innovation Award.”
Goodyear’s use of a Motion Capture app allows associates to capture team members performing a job and upload it to the app, which generates an ergonomic risk assessment. This tool has helped identify and implement actions to reduce risk and using it within the ergonomics process has reduced ergonomic risk by as much as 30% in jobs assessed.
“Goodyear is constantly innovating ways to improve the health and safety of our associates,” said Steve McClellan, president-Goodyear Americas. “Our use of the Motion Capture app is just one example of how we’ve leveraged technology to improve our ergonomics processes and reduce the risk of injury on the job.”
Michelin’s “Bib Bowl” stretching initiative, inspired by the Super Bowl, used some healthy competition to help employees get loose and prepared to safely perform their job responsibilities. In honor of Bibendum, the Michelin Man, pre-shift stretching helped teams earn “yardage” to get closer to a touchdown each time a team stretched. This initiative helped Michelin’s facility in Ardmore, Oklahoma record a 7% year-to-year improvement in ergonomic-related injuries.
“At Michelin, the safety and well-being of our people is a top priority,” said Alexis Garcin, chairman and president of Michelin North America, Inc. “The Bib Bowl is a testament to the dedication of our employees who relentlessly lead and innovate in all aspects of our business, including the vital area of the well-being of our people.”
In 2020, USTMA recognized two members with Innovation Awards for programs developed and executed the prior year: Michelin North America, Inc. for its ergonomically improved tire building knife design and Yokohama Tire Corporation for its STOP-CALL-WAIT safety protocol.