Cover Image
close this bookLow-Cost Ways of Improving Working Conditions: 100 Examples from Asia (ILO, 1989, 190 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. Workstations
View the document2. Materials handling
View the document3. Housekeeping, storage and access to work locations
View the document4. Job content and work schedules


It seems obvious that work should be organised in ways which make the best use of workers skills and abilities, and that unnecessary difficulties should be avoided. In practice, however, many jobs are much more difficult than they need to be.

Improvements in work organisation and workstation design are particularly closely related to productivity. Thus the improvements in this chapter are not only low in cost, they may actually pay for themselves very quickly in terms of increased production and better quality. There are three reasons for this connection with productivity:

- improvements in work organisation and workstation design can directly improve productivity, for example by eliminating or combining tasks, by permitting more rapid task execution, by shortening handling distances and by reducing the likelihood of errors;

- such improvements also reduce the fatigue of the workers and permit more rapid recovery, which indirectly contributes to productivity;

- many of these improvements also affect the motivation of workers and thereby the likelihood of production increases and higher quality.

In addition, it should be kept in mind that these improvements reduce the likelihood of accidents and of the costs and damage associated with them.

This chapter gives examples of improvements in workstation design, materials handling, housekeeping and storage, job content and work schedules. They show that it is often easy and inexpensive to make jobs easier, less stressful, more motivating and more efficient.