A large company in the aerospace industry which wanted to develop versatility among its assemblers by introducing job rotation asked the IRSST to identify the conditions required to implement job rotation with a view to preventing the musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that affect this worker population.
This report documents the process followed, methods developed, and main results obtained. It discusses the conditions necessary to implement job rotation in this worker population. The report highlights the great importance both of the learning issues specific to jobs held in this industry, where quality requirements are extremely high, and of organizational support for coach-trainers and team leaders. The latter face a twofold challenge: managing the job rotation dynamics and coping with the numerous unforeseen events that occur in an organization with a just-in-time production cycle. It must be stressed that given the assemblers’ high level of expertise and the defining aspect of the quality requirements, the implementation of job rotation is not something that can be improvised in this industry. It must involve a real organizational project that provides leeway to facilitate the self-management of job rotation by workers and first-line supervisory staff.