Seeking to address the issues of an ageing workforce and the physical toll of working on an assembly line, Ford has launched an updated version of its “Happy Seat”, a clever swivel chair that allows production workers to remain seated while fixing parts to the vehicle.
“It’s called the Happy Seat for a good reason – it makes a tough job easier for workers in our plants,” says Eilis Carey, a senior ergonomist for Ford of Europe. “Operations which previously required awkward postures to be maintained for prolonged periods can now be performed in a seated position with adequate lumbar support.”
The Happy Seat allows employees with more experience to stay integrated in existing work groups while health and productivity levels are retained. “The ergonomics of the workstation are improved and operators’ discomfort and fatigue are reduced, leading to reduced injuries and illnesses, less absenteeism, and improved quality of the operations,” Carey said.
Ford employs about 164,000 employees and runs 70 production plants worldwide.