I recently received certification from the TWI Institute as a Job Safety Trainer.

Why is that important?

In my role as a manufacturing specialist for the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, I’m now able to offer additional and important strategic insight to small and mid-size manufacturers in Wisconsin as a result of this certification.

Training Within Industry (TWI) can be crucial tool for manufacturers.

The program started as a way to support industrial firms for the United States war effort during World War II and is widely considered to be genesis of modern manufacturing philosophies, such as lean manufacturing and kaizen.

TWI can go hand-in-hand with lean manufacturing initiatives. The basic concepts mainly are designed to improve a process, such as making good parts efficiently, as quickly as possible.

TWI consists of four programs: Job Relations; Job Instructions; Job Methods; and Job Safety. Each of the modules is designed to build supervisor and employee skills. All four modules can be delivered by the WMEP.

With my certification from the TWI Institute, my primary focus will be on the Job Safety module. Job Safety emphasizes how feelings and attitudes can contribute to the physical cause of work-place accidents. I can work with companies to provide a framework for shop floor leaders to engage employees in identifying and eliminating potential hazards.

The Job Safety program teaches shop floor leaders how to instruct employees in preventative measures that, through practice, can help reduce incidents and improve the overall quality of work. This can lead to lower incident rates, improved safety records and improved morale, all of which leads to less down time.

Part of the issue in implementing a lean-focused program is that we sometimes don’t do a good job of getting the shop floor people involved. That’s where TWI comes into play.

TWI, which emphasizes a learn-by-doing approach, is more shop floor-focused than many other programs. It’s really all about employee involvement, which makes it far more likely that the program will catch on and take root.