Implementing Ergonomics in Construction to Improve Work Performance

Omar Damaj1, Mohamad Fakhreddine2, Makram Lahoud3 & Farook Hamzeh4

1Civil Engineering Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, +9613662187, omd05@mail.aub.edu
2Civil Engineering Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, +9613903734, mhf13@mail.aub.edu
3Civil Engineering Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, +96170146175, mfl03@mail.aub.edu
4Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, fh35@aub.edu.lb

Abstract

Traditional construction projects suffer from several productivity-related problems that result in delays and cost overruns; consequently, projects often fall short of owner set goals. The need for investigations into the causes of these inefficiencies is crucial as poor work conditions reduce the quality and efficiency of work processes. Ergonomics, defined as the study and optimization of workers’ efficiency in their work environment, brings about safety and productivity improvements through an enhancement of work conditions. However, Ergonomics has not been applied in the Middle East and specifically in Lebanon. Moreover, very little research has been performed on ergonomics planning in this region with a booming construction industry despite the pressing need to modify tools and tasks to fit workers’ needs. Data from field surveys and site visits from several construction sites were analyzed to assess the use of ergonomics. Despite the positive impacts that ergonomics planning can provide, contractors are reluctant to change and are held back by cultural and social barriers. The study highlights numerous difficulties faced on construction sites, analyzes the barriers that are preventing ergonomics from being implemented in Lebanon, and discusses potential solutions. This study can be used as basis for possible future implementation plans and further studies focusing on ergonomics in Lebanon and the Middle East.

Keywords

Lean construction, Safety, Visual Management, Ergonomics, Lebanon

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Reference

Damaj, O. , Fakhreddine, M. , Lahoud, M. & Hamzeh, F. 2016, 'Implementing Ergonomics in Construction to Improve Work Performance' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

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