The project aimed at developing approaches to improve the vocational and health situation of the pedagogical staff in pre-schools and evaluating the effects of the prevention measures, particularly those aimed at reducing physical stress and workload.
The study and its results shall improve the working conditions of nursery school teachers in day-care centers but shall also affect the work of accident insurance companies responsible for this personnel and the work of the owners of these day care units.
The project "ErgoKita - prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in pre-school teachers in child care centers (pre-schools)" was carried out in the period between June 2011 and December 2013 from the project partners IAD (Institute of Ergonomics, TU Darmstadt), ASU (Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main) and IFA (Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance, St. Augustin).
Based on the results from questionnaires (conditions, stresses) used in 256 facilities in Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz and Nordrhein-Westfalen and in 24 selected facilities (257 participating employees), in-depth investigations with workshops and workplace inspections, as well as the findings from the objective workplace assessments (CUELA) and the task descriptions in 9 facilities (2 teachers/organization), fundamental shortcomings or stresses from essential activities such as playing, eating, nursing and sleeping, which occur in varying degrees in many institutions, were identified. These primarily included:
Under consideration of the current pedagogical approach, different approaches to stress reduction were derived:
These approaches were, among others, included in a basic catalog which contained exemplary solution proposals for the activities mentioned above. Additionally, based on the research findings, behavior-oriented training was implemented on a pilot basis in six day care centers. The effectiveness of the solutions and their acceptance were assessed by two means, once with the identical objective methodology used prior to the intervention and secondly through questionnaires and workshops.
The project findings confirm the view from the DGUV that there is a definite need for preventive measures in order to maintain the health of education staff with particular focus on preventing musculoskeletal disorders. Within the framework of the project, various intervention approaches were developed and evaluated, all of which can be applied for the ergonomic work design in child care centers. Based on these results, a qualitative improvement in the work situation can be expected, which may be associated with a reduction in musculoskeletal complaints and disorders.
The results of the project may have the following future practical applications:
public serviceType of hazard:
work organization/safety and health managementCatchwords:
prevention, musculoskeletal disorders (except cancer), special groups of personsDescription, key words:
Ergo-KiTa , musculo-skeletal disorders, nursery school teacher, day-care centers