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Characteristics of job rotation in the Midwest US manufacturing sector

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Job rotation has been advocated as a suitable intervention to control work-related musculoskeletal disorders. However, little is known regarding the prevalence of job rotation, methods used to identify jobs for rotation or the benefits or limitations of job rotation. A web-based questionnaire was developed to survey job rotation practices from Midwest US manufacturing companies. Results indicated that 42.7% of the companies contacted used job rotation, where the median time for which they had used job rotation was 5 years. Job rotation was used mainly to reduce exposure to risk factors for work-related injuries and to reduce work related injuries, whereas supervisor decisions and ergonomic analyses were used to select jobs for the rotation scheme. Major limitations to successful implementation of job rotation included rotation of individuals with medical restrictions, decreased product quality and lack of jobs to rotate to. These findings suggest that further study is needed to determine if exposure to risk factors is reduced through current efforts.
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Keywords: Administrative controls; Intervention; Job rotation; Musculoskeletal disorders; Risk factors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, USA 2: Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA 3: College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Publication date: December 15, 2005

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