Sustainability Case Studies

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2010 — Economic

Projects to reduce ergonomic risks - Deschambault Smelter

We avoid potential back injuries by handling bath chutes using a forklift rather than manually. 

A single person handling and cleaning lances is risky due to their weight (33 kg) as well as the posture and movements required. The use of a chute and reliance on two operators help distribute the weight, while facilitating the task and allowing for safer movements. 

Cleaning siphons is now safer thanks to the use of a wireless remote control unit that is both lighter and easier to handle. 

In the past, the keys on the connectors had to be aligned manually.  With the addition of cylinders, guide roll springs and towing chains, as well as the installation of an automated MSE for automatic gauging, the operator no longer has to intervene.  As a result, we have eliminated the risk of injuries to the back and upper body related to difficultly in accessing the equipment, the strength required for the task and repetition movements.

Pot hood repair – before:  below is the table used to repair pot hoods using a piece of wood that does not allow the operator to adjust for height.  The pneumatic tools are also laid out on the table.  To complete a repair, the operator must remove the bottom part, a task also performed on the same table.

After: a jib crane supports the pneumatic tools and two adjustable tables have been set up.  A 5s was also carried out. The operator can now adopt a more suitable posture in a better adapted work environment.