Dan is well known for his practical approach:
    •    Identifying simple ideas that work.

    •    Using the existing strengths of your organization to fix your own problems.

    •    Developing a worksite culture that empowers creativity among ordinary employees

    •    Speaking and writing in plain language.

    •    Reports that are short, to the point, and focused on practical solutions.

Auto Industry, 1970s
In the late 1970s, Dan was instrumental in recognizing that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were a common workplace ailment.   He consequently pioneered the first shop-floor ergonomics projects in the auto industry and initiated training sessions in the industry in cooperation with Professors Don Chaffin and Tom Armstrong at the Center for Ergonomics at the University of Michigan.
In 1979, he negotiated the first union-management contract language related to prevention of MSDs, a step that led to the widespread introduction of ergonomics into the industry and later resulted in the funding of massive research and training projects, much of which through the University of Michigan.

The booklet that started it all

In 1982, he authored the first lay language training materials in the U.S. on ergonomics and prevention of MSDs, focusing on the auto industry and general metalworking operations.  Ultimately,  the booklet created a major impact within the industry and also helped popularize ergonomics within the media and ultimately the general public.

During this period he was a staff member of the United Auto Workers International Union (UAW) based in Detroit.  Years later, students in ergonomics at the University of Michigan considered Dan to be “somewhat of a legend” there because of his ground-breaking work.
Meatpacking Industry
In the 1980s, Dan was retained by the American Meat Institute (AMI) to assist with the development of ergonomics programs in the red meat industry, the industry with by far the highest rates of MSDs at the time.  At this time, he was president of ErgoTech, Incorporated, an ergonomics consulting firm that he founded.

As an AMI representative, he worked in cooperation with OSHA to help develop the Ergonomics Program Guidelines for the Meatpacking Industry, one of the fundamental milestones in the development of workplace ergonomics programs in the U.S.

He subsequently was retained directly by numerous large meatpacking companies and helped promote implementation of ergonomics solutions in slaughter plants, which were ultimately successful in reducing the injury rates, reducing costs, and modernizing the industry.  See Success in Meatpacking and services for industry-wide and complex organizations.

Multiple Industries, 1500 Plants
Testimonials for Dan's work showing cost reductions and improvements are found throughout his articles, books, training materials, and this website.  In particular, his favorite low-cost success stories offer examples of his down-to-earth style. Low tech and practical doesn't mean that solutions aren't based on science or that the thinking behind a solution isn't complex..  Good design involves making the use of tools or systems seem intuitive.  For example, you shouldn't have to think about how a light switch is supposed to work to use it. 

Similarly, good solutions in the workplace should appear as though they were simply a matter of common sense.  The same is true for training sessions and written materials.  The presenter and author is supposed to do all the hard work behind the scenes so that the information is clear and seemingly self-evident.

During the 1980s, Sweden was unquestionably the world leader in ergonomics.  Dan’s fluent knowledge of the Swedish language enabled him to tap into and contribute to these developments.  In particular, a three-month research visit to Swedish industry in 1983 helped keep him in the forefront of ergonomics developments internationally.  See Why Sweden Leads the World in Ergonomics.

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