American Society of Civil Engineers


Use of Safety and Lean Integrated Kaizen to Improve Performance in Modular Homebuilding


by Laura H. Ikuma, (corresponding author), (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Construction Management and Industrial Engineering, Louisiana State Univ., 3128 Patrick F. Taylor Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70806 E-mail: likuma@lsu.edu), Isabelina Nahmens, (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Construction Management and Industrial Engineering, Louisiana State Univ., 3128 Patrick F. Taylor Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70806. E-mail: nahmens@lsu.edu), and Joel James, (Graduate student, Dept. of Construction Management and Industrial Engineering, Louisiana State Univ., 3128 Patrick F. Taylor Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70806. E-mail: jjame37@tigers.lsu.edu)

Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 137, No. 7, July 2011, pp. 551-560, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000330)

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Document type: Case Studies
Abstract: The two biggest challenges in the construction industry, low productivity and high injury rates, may be addressed simultaneously through the combination of lean production strategies and traditional safety-analysis tools. This case study used Safety and Lean Integrated Kaizen (SLIK) in a modular housing manufacturing facility by applying one lean production tool, kaizen, and a safety-analysis tool, job safety analysis (JSA). The research team used SLIK with the base-framing crew, and the method consisted of analyzing the current process, determining and implementing process improvements, and analyzing the improved process. The changes resulted in a 16% increase in value-added activities and increased the framing crew’s overall output by 55%. By making quick, low-cost changes that were intended to improve productivity to the station layout and work design, safety and ergonomic hazards, including reduced trip hazards, pinch points, and back strain, were also reduced or eliminated. These results support the hypothesis that productivity and safety can be improved simultaneously through combined lean and safety tools.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Occupational safety
Lean construction
Productivity
Residential buildings
Construction management

Author Keywords:
Occupational safety
Lean construction
Productivity
Residential buildings
Construction management