Paper: Health and safety preoccupations trough the Quality Clinic Process Chart (QCPC)

Author(s) and Affiliation(s):
Iuliana Nastasia, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail Montréal, Canada
Daniel Imbeau, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Georges Toulouse, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail Montréal, Canada
Marie Saint-Vincent, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et sécurité du travail, Montréal, Canada
Karine Aubry, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Marie-Éve Chiasson, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Day/Time: Saturday at 14:00
Room: Ballroom, 2nd Floor

Continuous improvement programs use diverse methods in order to improve businesses results in terms of productivity, quality, health and safety and ergonomics (HS&E). Quality Clinic Process Chart (QCPC) is one methodology used for continuously analysing the process at the level of the cellule, in order to identify improvement opportunities and probable inefficiencies, called “turnbacks”. The paper’s goal is to describe the nature of “turn-backs” related to HE&S and to analyse their management in the different steps of the process.


Quantitative and qualitative analyses were practiced by a team of ergonomists on “turnbacks”, collected over approximately one year in cellules originated from four different branches of the same manufacturing company. First, turnbacks collected and summarised were categorised upon the main type of problem reported. Secondly, “turnbacks” were classified and the impact on productivity, quality and health and safety issues assessed. Four levels of assessment were considered to estimate impact. Qualitative analyses enable to describe, in detail, for each map process, and type of issue, the main steps, structures, and sequences, in place or envisaged for resolving problems raised, more particularly in terms of health and safety preoccupations.


One of the five main types of “turnbacks” described health and safety issues. The routine procedure of treatment for these “turnbacks” was to remove them from the QCPC process analyses, and to redirect them toward the health and safety committee. Then, the members of the committee decide what analyses are appropriate to do, whether consult an ergonomist or another specialist in order to resolve the complex problems, adopt appropriate changes, and implant adequate modifications. Analysis of “turnbacks” associated with each step of the process determines process improvement priorities and orient improvement initiatives. Applying QCPC method allowed identifying, analysing, and resolving “turnbacks”, and that in order to prevent a process from delivering perfect quality on the “first pass through” in the shortest time possible and by discovering which steps in a process are causing the most detriment to overall process performance and health and safety issues.


Collecting and summarizing “turnback” data at established intervals enabled the QCPC teams to eliminate root causes for some important problems, and to determine greatest opportunities for improving process.Analyse to identify appropriate situations and to find adequate solutions, taking into account health and safety issues, and monitor the effectiveness of actions for correct implementation, gives employees a voice in the process of improvement. However, addressing health and safety problems through continuous improvement process suppose to have preoccupations for health and safety in each step of the quality clinic process, and to conduct more analyses of activity in cases when workers report turnbacks related to their health and safety.