Six Sigma DMAIC Roadmap helps implement OSHA

More often than not, organizations do not analyze situations and take a generic decision in implementing a process. For example, the requirement of OSHA is that employees who are exposed to an average of 8 hours to noise levels above 85dB must be enlisted in a hearing conservation program, but companies often subject all their employees to a hearing conservation program without analyzing the individual conditions of the employees.

The Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) roadmap can be applied to arrive at a more accurate evaluation of the situation. Thus, a team was constituted to analyze the working conditions at W.R. Grace & Co., a specialty chemical manufacturing company based in Columbia, Md.  Before the arrival of the team, the company had enlisted all employees to the hearing conservation program. However, the team applied the DMAIC roadmap in evaluating the work conditions of individual employees, and then segregated the employees according to the noise level they were exposed to. Finally, using Six Sigma methodology, the team concluded that only three of the 11 operators were potentially exposed to an 8-hour TWA of greater than 85 dB. Occupational Hazards reports:

The use of the Six Sigma method is applicable to other areas of environmental, health and safety. The roadmap provides the data required to make the best decisions. The control phase requires work to be assigned and completed. The tools used also provide the documentation and means to follow the success of the improvements.