In a busy Wisconsin cheese company insured by Chubb, employees were moving 55-gallon drums by hand, rolling them on the barrel edge.
However, doing things the easy way isn’t necessarily the best way. Enter Senior Workers Compensation Specialist Tina Minter.
Since transporting drums in this manner was dangerous, she recommended using 240-gallon containers so the employees would use mechanical devices to maneuver the load instead.
“You don’t always have to lower the weight,” Minter said, “to become more efficient and safer.”
Armed with various meters, gauges and software, Minter visits Chubb clients to perform tests and help implement a variety of ergonomic solutions.
Her presence often reassures employees.
“They see my work,” she said, “as their company doing the right thing, trying to make their jobs easier with less discomfort.”
With her engineering mindset and focus on ergonomics, Minter evaluates business tasks and workstations, looking to re-engineer them to be safer or simply more comfortable for the worker.
“Once,” she recalled, “I was working with a bank employee having shoulder and neck discomfort. I made changes to her workstation to make it ergonomically correct—like lowering her monitor and adjusting her chair’s seat pan.
“Afterward, she felt so much relief that she gave me a hug—you don’t get that interaction from people often. If I can benefit one person within a day, that’s success.”
Another success involved switching old steel wheels on carts used to transport room partitions. After measuring the cart-moving force, she recommended installing larger, phenolic wheels. Afterwards, the carts moved more easily, increasing efficiency and reducing the potential for injuries.
Minter can also measure the pinch force of the thumb and index fingers, used when pulling wires and cables, important in the airline industry. In addition, she uses 3-D modeling software, allowing her to calculate compression forces on the back when lifting and moving items.
“The software allows for determining if certain lifts and maneuvers are putting too much stress on someone’s body,” she explained. “It helps us to take steps to re-engineer the task to reduce injury exposure.”
Minter earned her industrial engineering degree in 1991 from the University of Wisconsin (she also holds a master’s degree) and achieved her 25-year career mark with Chubb in January.
In her role, she relies on her personal inquisitiveness.
“Every person can teach me something,” she said. “I try and grasp that knowledge while working with my clients, as well as my co-workers. We work together for a mutual benefit—the companies improve their safety programs and I help Chubb to reduce the risk of our clients having losses and injuries.”
First job: Assembly line worker for a furniture company
Best advice received: “Always be yourself and be genuine.”
First car: 1980 Buick Skylark
Actress who would play me in a movie: Jennifer Aniston
Favorite sport and team: Football and Wisconsin Badgers
Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice
Best late-night snack food: Microwave popcorn
Guilty pleasure: Game of Thrones
Favorite band: The Beatles
Greatest achievement: Two beautiful, healthy young boys, Benjamin and Max