Work study is primarily related to human work, method of doing work and standard of performance. It is an important management tool to achieve higher productivity. The survival of any organisation depends on use of latest technology and well-organized methods of production. The efficiency of production should be improved to produce better quality product at reduced cost. Historically, work-study aims at improving the existing and proposed ways of doing work and establishing standard time for work performance.
ILO defines work study as the technique of method study and work measurement employed to ensure the best possible use of human and material resources in carrying out a specified activity.
Work study is to minimise cost either by designing work for high productivity or by improving productivity in existing work through improvements in current methods and by reducing ineffective and wasted time.
Work study is a management service based on those techniques, in particular method study and work measurement, which are used in the examination of human work in all its contexts and which lead to the systematic investigation of all the resources and factors which affect the efficiency and economy of the situation being reviewed, in order to affect improvement.
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A generic term for those techniques, particularly method study and work measurement, which are used in the examination of human work in all its contexts, and which lead systematically to the investigation of all the factors which affect the efficiency and economy of the situation being reviewed, in order to effect improvement'.
Work Study is the systematic examination of the methods of carrying out activities such as to improve the effective use of resources and to set up standards of performance for the activities carried out.
Method study involves study of work to reduce work content and establishing best way of doing the work.
Method study is the systematic recording and critical examination of existing and proposed ways of doing work, as a means of developing and applying easier and more effective methods and reducing costs.
Work measurement is related to investigating and reducing any ineffective time associated with the work and establishing time standards for an operation carried out as per standard method.
Work measurement is the application of techniques designed to establish the time for a qualified worker to carry out a specified job at a defined level of performance.
12.2 IMPORTANCE OF WORK-STUDY
Work-study is a means of enhancing the production efficiency (productivity) of the firm by elimination of waste and unnecessary operations.
It is a technique to identify non-value adding operations by investigation of all the factors affecting the job.
It is the only accurate and systematic procedure oriented technique to establish time standards.
It is going to contribute to the profit as the savings will start immediately and continue throughout the life of the product
It has got universal application.
12.3 OBJECTIVES OF WORK STUDY
To recommend and implement the desired improvement in work methods by establishing the most economical way of doing work.
Examination of existing method.
Finding weakness in production process (If any).
Most effective utilisation of existing or proposed resources.
Effective utilisation of resources .
Setting performance standards.
Use of performance standard to pay incentives.
Standardise method, material and equipments used in the production process.
12.4 ADVANTAGES OF WORK STUDY
i) It selects best method of doing a work.
ii) It helps to achieve continuous production with minimum delays and interruptions.
iii) It helps to reduce cost of production by eliminating wastage and unnecessary operations.
ivl Properly designed work content helps to fulfil commitments made to customer.
v) Improved workplace design.
vi) Better working conditions for workers.
vii) Higher utilisation of resources.
viii) Standard time is used to calculate manpower and machine requirements.
12.5 WORK STUDY PROCEDURE
Work study procedure consists of 8 basic steps some of them are common to both method study and work measurement. They are shown in Figure 15.1.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Job or Process to be studied
All the details concerning job using various recording techniques
Recorded facts critically by asking questions like who, what, when, why
Most economical method
The amount of work involved and set standard time to do that job
The new method as a standard practice
New method and standard time
New method as agreed standards
Basic steps involved in Work Study
12.6 WORK STUDY AND WORK SIMPLIFICATION
Men, material, equipment and machines are the important resources of any production process. Work study ensures utilisation of these resources. Rapidly changing technology has made process and method more complicated. Method study, an important component of work study divides work into smaller elements. The elements which are unnecessary are eliminated. Then all work elements are rearranged to get new and improved method for better production planning and control. Such analysis of method ensures optimum utilisation of resources. The work simplification starts with the detail analysis of product to carry out changes in design, eliminating unnecessary operations etc.
12.7 WORK STUDY AND HUMAN RELATIONS
Higher productivity cannot be obtained without co-operation of workers, supervisors and management. To conduct method study, good human relations among workers, supervisors and management is absolutely necessary. Work study should not be carried out in the atmosphere of mistrust. Work study involves changes in method (through method study ) and may involve re-development or transfer of some employees. Therefore there may be protest from some employees. Generally in developing countries, it can be reason of poor industrial relation, strike etc. However work study is beneficial in longer run. Therefore work study should be carried out with proper discussion with supervisors and workers. Top management should support it. Work study should be carried out by qualified person who can win confidence of workers.
12.8 WORK STUDY AND MANAGEMENT
Management must support the work study for its success. They should have positive outlook towards supervisors and workers. In earlier days of industrialisation, there was belief that workers are lazy and they do not work hard till they are forced. But this is not correct. Working conditions, motivation, participation in decision making, etc related to
workers must be given due concern. ..
Management must realise that workers are real contributors in improving productivity and success of any organisation. Before introducing work study, workers must be taken into confidence. They should be told about benefits of work study. They should be assured of their job, better working conditions, etc. While carrying out work study, as far as possible, workers should be allowed to participate in decision making of their work and work related problems. Management should create healthy environment of trust so that workers will feel proud to contribute positively in the improvement.
12.9 WORK STUDY AND SUPERVISORS
Supervisors acts as mediator between management and workers. But work study man may face problems of supervisorâ€™s attitude. Success of work study depends upon co-operation offered by supervisor. Before introducing work study, objectives, purpose and procedure of work study must be explained to supervisor. He must be taken into confidence because he is the one, who can convince the workers successfully about benefits of work study.
12.10 WORK STUDY AND WORKERS
Work study brings the changes in method of doing a work, procedure etc. However orkers resist or protest the changes due to fear of loss of job. Therefore before introducing work study, workers must be taken into confidence. They must be told about the benefits of work study to organisation and workers. They must be allowed to take part in decision making process of worker related problems. Through co-operation of management. supervisor and workers, organisation can successfully implement work study. Work study should not only be restricted to work or method of doing work. It also considers working conditions to workers. boredom due to repetitive job etc. Therefore the man-agement must try to provide such working conditions in which individual will feel like working in home.
12.11WORK STUDY AND WORK STUDY MAN
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Work study man must be qualified preferably university graduate in engineering. He should have knowledge of all components of production process. He should have experience to the various manufacturing system. He should have good knowledge of work study. He should be sincere, honest. He must be self confident and should have attitude of seeing situation from other's point of view. He should have ability to deal with workers successfully. He should have ability to implement work study successfully by winning minds of workers.
12.12 CONCEPT OF WORK CONTENT
The amount of work in a given job is referred to as work content. The work content has two constituents:
i) Basic work content: Basic work content is minimum time required theoretically to do a job. Basic work content represents: perfect design, no work time loss and exact follow up of procedure. It means ideal situation.
ii) Excess work content: The actual time required to complete an operation or work is more the than standard time in practice. The additional work content is called as excess work content.
Reasons of excess work content
In a manufacturing process, the excess work content gets added, because of the following
a) Design related work content
Bad design of the product.
Lack of standardisation of material. component, parts etc.
Wrong specifications and quality standards.
b) Work content related to methods and production
Inproper selection of process and machine.
Wrong selection of tools.
Use of old or outdated technology and machines.
Poorly maintained machines and equipments.
Poor plant and shop layout.
Inefficient material handling.
c) Work content related to management
Poor working conditions.
Lack of motivation.
Poor production planning and control.
Frequent machine setup.
Use of sub standard raw material-
Shortage of material / equipments.
Lack of performance standards.
In adequate training.
Scarce in quality awareness
Poor management -workers relations.
Lack of safety measures.
d) Work content related to workers
Higher age of worker.
Apprenticeship of workers.
Negative attitude towards work.
12.13 TECHNIQUES TO REDUCE WORK CONTENT
a) Management techniques related to product
Development of Product.
Standardisation of materials, components.
b) Management techniques related to process
Execute process planning carefully.
Make use of method study.
Plant layout analysis.
c) Management techniques related to management
Standardisation of product.
Appropriate training for development of workers.
Employ different safety measures and provide proper working conditions.
Production planning and control.
Plan maintenance of the machines.
Make use of inventory control techniques.
Use of Quality control techniques.
d) Management techniques related to workers
Make use of motivational techniques.
Training and development of workers.
Financial and non-financial incentives.