USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service

N60 Work Measurements Time Study

Aerial View of the George Mason Fairfax Campus
Student Walking on the Fairfax Campus

The Indirect Multiplier

The indirect multiplier is the current methodology that USDA FSIS uses in order to estimate the total amount of time required to complete a safety inspection task. Currently, they use a an indirect multiplier of 0.8 which means that if the direct time for an inspection takes one hour, the indirect time will take 48 minutes, for a total time of 108 minutes. The below equations are examples of how FSIS calculates indirect time and total task time for an inspection task which has a one hour duration.


Indirect Time = Direct Time * Indirect Multiplier
48 Minutes = 60 Minutes * 0.8
Total Time = Direct Time + Indirect Time
108 Minutes = 60 Minutes + 48 Minutes


The indirect multiplier is an important tool in time measurement for FSIS and changes to the multiplier can have drastic effects on the agency. FSIS utilizes the indirect multiplier to calculate time times required for sampling tasks at all plants, which in turn determines how many man-hours are required to complete all sampling tasks across the country. With these figures, USDA FSIS has a justified figure to present to congress for its personnel requirements, and thus, for their annual operating budget.