CCall: successful and healthy working in call centres

Project No. BIA 0066

Status:

completed 06/2002

Aims:

Call centres are a typical product of change prompted by new technologies, and as such represent a highly dynamic sector. Call centre workplaces are a model case for communication-intensive, computer-aided forms of work of a kind which will become increasingly widespread in other sectors in the future. They provide companies with a central interface to their customers, and are of considerable importance for the exploitation of market opportunities and survival in a competitive economy. The objective of the project was to develop practical support measures for the planning, setup and operation of call centres, including training and qualification, and to test such measures in practice. These measures were to permit organization of the activity and the working environment such that a "best practice" standard is created for health and safety at the workplace in call centres. Different types of call centre were to be selected as model businesses in order to ensure that the measures can be applied to the sector as a whole.

Activities/Methods:

The stages/components of the project were as follows: analysis of the existing situation, definition and assessment of impacts and hazards in model call centres, development and testing of occupational health and safety measures, development of methods for the monitoring of working conditions (OH&S management), development and testing of measures for qualification and motivation, development and practical implementation of criteria for the assessment of economic viability, knowledge transfer from and within the field, in particular by the establishment of a "call centre forum" at the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the administrative sector, and structural and institutional reinforcement of the expertise present in the institutions involved.

Results:

The CCall project produced a broad-based series of results, oriented towards practical experience and problems. The chief result of the project is a guideline for safe and healthy working in call centres. It comprises the following modules: working environment and ergonomics, software ergonomics, voice preservation, integration of handicapped persons, promotion of good health, effective work design, and success through dialogue between employers and employees. In addition, instruments were developed to assist directly in the resolving of certain issues in call centres. These include instructions on the selection and use of humidifiers, an instrument for the screening of stress in call centres, voice training instructions for call-centre agents, and a internet database for the selection of appropriate headsets. The entire range of subjects covered by the results was presented in 15 CCall reports, experts being the primary target readership. Among the subjects included are a description of the call centre sector, a study of call centres with regard to mental stress issues, the working environment and ergonomics, handicapped persons in call centres, medical health studies, and health hazards. The BG Institute for Occupational Safety and Heath (BIA) drew up the results concerning the working environment and ergonomics, and also contributed substantially to the results conserning software ergonomics of the BG Institute for Work and Health (BGAG), to work-psychology and the integration of handicapped persons. The online database for the selection of headsets on the CCall.de web site was also drawn up in the BIA.

Further informations:

Last Update:

21-Feb-2003

Project

Financed by:
  • Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (BMA)
Research institution(s):
  • Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft (VBG)
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG mit BIA
  • BGAG
  • BGZ)
  • Fach- und Forschungsstellen von Verbänden
  • Hochschulen
  • staatliche Arbeitsschutzverwaltung
Branche(s):

services

Type of hazard:

Arbeitsbedingte Gesundheitsgefahren, Gestaltung von Arbeit und Technik, Psychische Belastungen

Catchwords:

Bildschirmarbeit, Ergonomie, Wirtschaftlichkeit und Arbeitsschutz

Description, key words:

working conditions, call centre, preventive measures

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