Designing Cyclic Job Rotations to Reduce the Exposure to Ergonomics Risk Factors

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 8;17(3):1073. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17031073.


Job rotation is an administrative solution to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders that has become widespread. However, job rotation schedules development is a complex problem. This is due to the multi-factorial character of the disorders and to the productive and organizational constraints of the real working environments. To avoid these problems, this work presents an evolutionary algorithm to generate rotation schedules in which a set of workers rotate cyclically over a small number of jobs while reducing the potential for injury. The algorithm is able to generate rotation schedules that optimize multiple ergonomics criteria by clustering the tasks into rotation groups, selecting the workers for each group, and determining the sequence of rotation of the workers to minimize the effects of fatigue. The algorithm reduces prolonged exposure to risks related to musculoskeletal injuries and simplifies the assignment of workers to different tasks in each rotation. The presented procedure can be an effective tool for the design of job-rotation schedules that prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders while simplifying scheduled changeovers at each rotation and facilitating job monitoring.

Keywords: evolutionary algorithms; job rotation; musculoskeletal disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Ergonomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / organization & administration*
  • Risk Factors
  • Workplace / organization & administration*