Workload Assessment in Industrial Settings: A Proposal Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The XXVI Annual Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference El Paso, TX, USA June 5-6, 2014


The perceived workload by workers is a construct that has been analyzed and assessed more qualitatively than quantitatively. The beginning of the assessment of subjective constructs started using perceptual scales; an example is the Rating Perception Scale (RPE) Borg 0-10 or the Cooper-Harper scale. For workload assessment, methods such as NASATLX and SWAT have been developed. However, variables considered by these methods are not enough to assess the workload in industrial settings. This research reports a proposal of a method for the assessment of workload using the Analytic Hierarchy Process for the development of a workload index. The new method considers eight groups of variables: Mental demand (5 items), physical demand (5 items) global effort (2 items), temporal demand (1item), performance (1 item), frustration (4 items), environmental factors (5 items) and body postures (4 items). The study was conducted at a manufacturer of Constant Velocity (CV) joints located in central Mexico. In order to develop the new method; tasks of CNC lathes operators who perform physical and mental tasks were analyzed. The results of the workload indices obtained with the new method were correlated with the index of workload NASA-TLX getting low correlations.