Advantages and Disadvantages of Introducing Job Rotation

Job rotation involves having workers interchange between at the very least, two different jobs, resulting in rotating between different workstations at specified times. The reasons for implementing job rotation can vary between organizations; sometimes to simply add variety into a worker’s day to break up potentially monotonous tasks, others may use it as tool for injury prevention.

Job rotation can allow for changes in body postures and physical demands. Perhaps the employee rotates from a job that requires a great amount of shoulder work, to a job that is much less shoulder-intense, which then gives their shoulder muscles an active recovery or rest break. On the other hand, job rotation may expose more people to a potentially high hazard.

To be an effective solution in reducing injury risk, job rotation needs to be done properly. If you’re considering job rotation in your workplace, first consider these pros and cons.

Pros of Job Rotation

When implemented properly, the following benefits are possible:

  • Reduces cumulative muscle activity and MSD hazard exposure
  • Reduces physical fatigue and job boredom
  • Increases understanding of all aspects and steps of production
  • Provides well-rounded training of many workers
  • Provides management with a more flexible workforce
  • Assists with career development of workers

Cons of Job Rotation

  • Encourages job generalization (rather than specialization)
  • Experienced workers may be reluctant or unwilling to learn new job skills and rotate
  • Lack of job variety to minimize muscle fatigue and MSD hazard exposure
  • Time required to acquaint workers to a new process
  • May create stress and anxiety among workers


Before you begin to implement job rotation, ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you improve the job/job task in other ways?
  • Can you reduce the overall risk rather than use rotation to solve an issue?
  • What engineering controls can you focus on first, before implementing administrative ones?

Perhaps there are other aspects to consider that may be more appropriate to address the root cause, rather than implementing job rotation.


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