Healthy workplace in production and craftsWhoever is employed in production and crafts often works standing up. Depending on the activity, factors such as noise, ergonomics during physical work and room climate are also important factors that have an impact on employee satisfaction. In Germany, manufacturing with its highly qualified skilled workers. engineers are an important pillar of the economy – even if the number of jobs has fallen slightly in recent years. Physical stress. Shift work is the rule in production. Employees often complain of back problems such as tension, lumbago or slipped discs.
In the manufacturing sector in particular, it is therefore crucial to create healthy working conditions for employees that motivate them, do not place unnecessary physical strain on them and ensure their well-being. As in the office belong
– qualified management, – no noise pollution, – good lighting conditions, and – a healthy indoor climate
among the important criteria for health at work.
How aspects of ergonomics, occupational health and safety can be effectively taken into account also plays a major role in occupational health management in the production sector. The skilled trades with their small. Medium-sized companies at the heart of the German economy. There are currently over one million craft businesses. There are 5.58 million people working there, plus around 360.000 trainees. This means that 13 percent of all employed persons and 28 percent of all trainees in Germany work in the skilled crafts sector.
The particular stresses in the skilled trades depend strongly on the trade. But for many skilled trades occupations, the focus is on physical strain: standing for long periods of time, working while kneeling, or heavy lifting are part of everyday work for many employees.
For workplaces in a workshop, for example, but also on site at construction sites, the following cornerstones are part of a healthy workplace design:
– Ergonomics – Lowest possible noise exposure – Proper lighting – Good indoor climate
Health-conscious behavior on the part of employees also makes a significant contribution to the success of the craft enterprise.
Cooperation between craftsmen of the same trades
Important to know: Craft businesses in the same trades can join forces for particularly efficient workplace health promotion. Saves resources. Creates synergy effects. Together with the health insurance company, targeted measures are then planned and implemented. Each company then receives the results of the analysis for its own company. In addition, further results of all the companies in the regional sector.
The balance is usually positive: Craft businesses that work together with others, support each other and learn from each other have greater business successes.
Working while standing: Strains and assistance
Millions of people, whether in skilled trades or manufacturing, perform their jobs standing up every day. Standing for long periods of time is a great strain on the body: muscles, joints and spine are stressed. If you stand for hours on end, you put one-sided strain on your body. The spine, in particular, is not made for continuous static strain. This leads to cramping of the back muscles. Pain is the result.
Long-term consequences of standing for long periods can be:
– The intervertebral discs, which act as a buffer between the individual vertebrae, shrink and the vertebral joints are overloaded. – Standing for hours is a risk factor for venous disease in the legs. – The risk of heart disease increases. Workers who stand most of the time at work are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as those who work primarily in a seated position. Workers who alternate between sitting, standing and walking do not experience such an increase in risk. Without compensation – for example by taking breaks to relieve the strain. Exercise – threat of sick leave among employees. In Germany, musculoskeletal disorders occupy the top spots in the sickness statistics. 25 percent of all sickness notifications are due to problems with the postural and musculoskeletal system, 14 percent of cases of incapacity to work are caused by back complaints.
Standing without harm. Employers can relieve the strain on their standing employees with simple measures. Proven benefits:
Standing workstations should be individually adapted to the size of the employee. The height of the work surface is optimal when the forearms can rest loosely on it.
Good standing aids, i.e. stools with a small seat at the level of the buttocks when standing, absorb up to 70 percent of the body's weight and thus relieve the load.
Employers can – if it is feasible in the company – introduce mixed work, which allows alternating standing, sitting and walking postures. Job rotation is also a good option for relieving strain: several employees switch between jobs with different tasks, but which are comparable in terms of qualifications.
For employees who have to stand a lot, short relaxation breaks in between are important for the feet, legs and back. A seat therefore belongs in every company.
Hard ground puts additional strain on the joints. A floor protection mat or carpet suitable for work is better.
Dress codes, for example for salespeople, should allow for comfortable footwear. Employers who provide their employees with safety shoes promote the health of the employees if they also pay attention to a comfortable fit with a footbed, flat sole and a shock-absorbing sole.