AbstractConstruction workers are vulnerable to excessive workloads that may cause ergonomic risks, disturbing the construction schedule. Hence, ergonomic risks and the responding measures for mitigating them, namely ergonomic measures, need to be predicted and assessed so as to help make decisions about management policies. This study focuses on agent-based simulation to predict ergonomic risks and impacts of ergonomic measures on the construction schedule (ERIEMCS) along with the construction process consisting of physical or light tasks. Workers are regarded as the agents and their behaviors in performing tasks and ergonomic measures are modeled by considering different physical capacities due to different workers’ ages. Energy expenditure–based fatigue quantification and the Ovako working posture analyzing system (OWAS) –based quantification of work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) risk for an individual worker are the basis for quantitative prediction of the fatigue and the WMSD risks of a crew undertaking the construction process through agent-based simulation. An application study based on a prefabricated construction project is presented to demonstrate and justify the proposed method. The results indicate that ergonomic risks can be effectively reduced by adopting ergonomic measures to balance mitigating such risks and maintaining productivity. Prediction of the ERIEMCS through agent-based simulation prior to commencement of work facilitates investigating the effects of aging workers and planning their working schedules using ergonomic measures in combination with schedule management. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on simulation-based methodology for applying ergonomics in construction management, which is especially meaningful given the trend of labor aging and the direction of industrialization in construction.

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