Ergo Cup

Ergo Cup

The McWane Ergo Cup competition is held annually. The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to reduce and prevent work place injuries … it is not an impossible mission.

The commitment to safety shown by our team members, on behalf of each other and McWane, is inspiring.

Barb Wisniewski

Teams from McWane facilities around the country present ergonomic-related projects they have implemented within the last 24 months to a panel of health and safety experts. Each project is aimed at reducing injuries, while improving workplace efficiency and transforming processes to best fit the needs of our team members.

“The commitment to safety shown by our team members, on behalf of each other and McWane, is inspiring,” said Barb Wisniewski, Vice President Health and Safety. “This is a perfect example of the McWane Way in action."

Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population. This emphasizes the implementation of industry and task-specific guidelines for reducing and preventing workplace musculoskeletal disorders and other injuries.

Each year, every project is judged on measureable outcomes such as return on investment, quantified reduction of injury and reduced workers' compensation costs, among other factors. The successes from these projects are then implemented at other McWane facilities with similar operations to further reduce injury risks company wide.

Good luck to our team members!

2016 Ergo Cup Winners

First Place: Tyler Pipe & Coupling, Marshfield, Missouri - Gasket Conveyor Project

Added wheels, rollers, magnets and brakes to move machinery that averaged between 425 and 450 lbs. which was difficult to move, created pinch points and presented sources of multiple strain injury potential.  After the improvements were made, it only takes about 15 lbs. of force and one person can do it alone.  Wheels were added to make it easy to move.  Rollers were added under the conveyor to help it move into position in the machine with ease.  Magnets were added to hold the machine in position in the conveyor.  Brakes were added for stability and to ensure the entire conveyor didn't move out of the correct position.

1st Runner Up: Clow Valve Company, Oskaloosa, Iowa - Punch Press Stem Conversion

The team redesigned the gating on patterns for high volume parts and redesigned specialty dies so parts could be punched instead of ground before they are machined.  This reduced vibration exposure to employees in an easily quantifiable manner. 

Best Risk Reduction (representing the highest overall risk reduction):  Amerex, Trussville, Alabama - Valve Install

Operators were manually inserting valve tubes into cylinders and using their other hand to tap the fire extinguisher with a hammer. When the valve threads were flush with the fire extinguisher collar, the employee had to turn the valve assembly manually by hand with their hand/wrist until the assembly was fully engaged with the collar.  This project eliminated the manual task of threading valves onto cylinders altogether.

Best Innovation (representing the most innovative project):  Tyler Union Foundry, Anniston, Alabama - Tuff Grip Pattern Core Modifications

The Ergo team redesigned the Tuff Grip pattern and mold to reduce the need for the Coresetters to set multiple cores per pattern which reduced the ergonomic hazard of repetition and improved productivity.  It also eliminated the internal parting line and reduced the amount of grinding needed around the wedges in the castings and reduced the ergonomic hazard associated with the posture and time duration required to grind each casting.

Past Ergo Cup Winners


First Place - Clow Valve Company, Oskaloosa, Iowa & Corona, California
1st Runner Up - Manchester Tank & Equipment Company, Quincy Illinois
Best Risk Reduction Award - Manchester Tank & Equipment Company, Elkhart, Indiana
Best Innovation Award - Amerex, Trussville, Alabama

First Place - Manchester Tank & Equipment Company, Quincy, Illinois
1st Runner Up -  Manchester Tank & Equipment Company, Elkhart, Indiana
Best Risk Reduction Award - Bibby-Ste-Croix
Best Innovation Award - Manchester Tank & Equipment Company, Bedford, Indiana


First Place - Manchester Tank and Equipment, Elkhart, Indiana
Second Place - Manchester Tank and Equipment, Qunicy, Illinois
Third Place - Tyler Coupling


First place — Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Provo, Utah
Second place — Clow Valve Company, Oskaloosa, Iowa
Third place — Amerex, Trussville, Alabama


First place — Union Foundry  Company, Anniston, Alabama
Second place — Clow Water Systems, Coshocton, Ohio
Third place — Clow Valve Company, Oskaloosa, Iowa

First place — Amerex, Trussville, Alabama
Second place — Clow Water Systems, Coshocton, Ohio
Third place — M&H Valve Company, Anniston, Alabama