Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Rapinder Sawhney

Committee Members

John Kobza, Lee Martin


Lean and process improvement projects focus on utilizing the organization’s resources like time, material and man power efficiently. This creates a stressful environment for the employees and increases the chances of contracting occupational diseases. 15% to 20% of employees suffer from occupational diseases like musculoskeletal disorders, stress, and other physical injuries. This further leads to high employee turnover and absenteeism. The literature suggests that among the top contributors towards the occupational diseases are work overload and workload variation. To balance the workload, line balancing and job rotation techniques are commonly used. Job sharing techniques called Zone-based manufacturing (ZBM) schedules jobs and reassignes the employees such that maximum jobs are shared and work duration of each employee is similar. This study analyses ZBM technique using OCRA index evaluation method and enhances the workload distribution by quanifying the OCRA score and optimizing the employee assignment. The optimization model uses the OCRA score and linear programming. The results show that the ergonomic workload balancing model reduces the variation in the workload distribution.

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