Industrial Engineering

Integrating ergonomics aspects into operations management models


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Operations management studies usually apply simplifying assumptions regarding human operational characteristics and rarely include the causes and effects of occupational health hazards when considering the financial performance of manufacturing systems. Ahmad Sobhani, Ryerson, and M.I.M. Wahab have developed a modeling approach that  integrates occupational ergonomics aspects into performance evaluation models

In “Integrating Ergonomics Aspects into Operations Management Performance Optimization Models: A Modeling Framework,” the authors introduced the hierarchical levels of the framework required to model the connections among health hazards in the working environment, employee level health conditions and efficiency at work, and the system level financial performance. They also applied the proposed framework to a real situation by optimizing the total cost of an assembly line.

Their results demonstrate that poor workplace ergonomics in the case system leads to total production cost increases between 0.76 percent and 3.76 percent. By applying their framework, practitioners can now determine how improving workplace ergonomics affects the performance of their operations systems.