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Toyota Material Handling successfully prevents strain injuries at work by implementing physiotherapy programme in Spain

Toyota Material Handling Europe has been a EU-OSHA campaign partner for over 6 years, and we’re participating again this year with the “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages” Campaign. With over 4,500 mobile technicians working for us across Europe, their well-being is a great focus for us. The active aspect of the job, especially for the ageing workforce, in combination with increasing pension ages has made us aware of the importance to invest in healthy working practices.

Investigating the issue

Our technicians easily suffer from overstrain injuries by servicing trucks at customer sites, forcing them into repetitive, uncomfortable positions. By conducting an in-depth analysis of accident data and having conversations with service technicians, we were able to identify poor manual handling practices as the primary cause of these types of injuries. Even though Toyota Material Handling in Spain invested in new equipment and awareness campaigns to reduce the injury rates, they still remained high compared to industry standards.

 

A step-by-step approach

Toyota Material Handling in Spain then decided to put a physiotherapy programme into place that focused on all service technicians who had suffered an injury through overstrain. These technicians received a first training that consisted of theory and practical exercises from an external physiotherapist. Thanks to our internal e-learning tool we were able to share this training as well with everyone in our company, and eventually roll out the programme with a three-year refresher course to all our Spanish employees.

Following the success of this programme, other Toyota Material Handling entities such as Czech Republic, France, Italy and Sweden followed, and the programme was also shared externally through EU-OSHA’s “Good Practice Benchmarking” events.

 

Positive results in multiple areas

Thanks to our efforts during the last two years, accidents through overstain have more than halved. No one of the technicians who received physiotherapy treatment after an injury has had another similar accident.

And not only has the programme improved the well-being of our employees, it also turned out to be financially beneficial. The absenteeism cost saved equals four times the money we had invested into the 337 physiotherapy sessions. In turn, insurance premiums went down significantly, and any savings are being re-invested into health and safety measures for Toyota Material Handling in Spain. 

More specifically, we identified that our employees being struck by objects was the second most important accident root cause, and we’re therefore analysing and improving the tools and equipment handled by our mobile service technicians.

With the right training and physiotherapy we were able to reduce injury rates by 65% and significantly decrease absenteeism costs”.

Elisabeth Folguera
Health & Safety Manager
Toyota Material Handling España

 

  • Injury rate reduced by 65% since 2007
  • Lost day rate reduced by 37% since 2007
  • Annual investment: €10.000
  • Annual savings: €40.000

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