Biomechanical Ergonomics

Principle investigators: PD Dr. Matthias Jäger
Staff: Claus Jordan
Cooperation/Partners: BAuA, DGUV, IFA, ASER, IAD, Lufthansa
Universities: Berlin, Budapest, Dortmund, Dresden, Essen, Frankfurt, Halle, Loughborough, Mailand, Regensburg, Tübingen, Zürich u.a.

This topic of the IfADo deals with health risks and human efforts in the working environment and, in particular, with the interactions of human forces and movements with respect to the individual properties and temporal variations. We aim to designing the work appropriately from the work-physiological point of view via the analysis of occupationally induced load of the musculoskeletal systems and the corresponding health effects; in consequence we focus on a scientifically substantiated prevention to diminish the overload risk for the working people.

Occupational activities relatively often lead to complaints and even diseases of the musculoskeletal systems and, thereby, to a high rate of absenteeism. Risky activities are preferably found at office work–by intensive “static” postures and rather fine-motor activities–, as well when handling heavy objects or, when handling patients manually, in hospitals, at elderly care or home care.

Besides fundamental research in collaboration with other universities, a strong application interest combined with a high sociopolitical relevance, has been evolved due to intensive cooperations with accident insurers, health and safety administrations, clinics, companies and international strategy boards. Derived findings are perpetually enquired in political consulting and applied, in particular, for European and international standardization and in the context of national workers’ compensation regulations.

Main topics are:

MEGAPHYS – Multilevel hazard analysis of physical workload

Health and elderly care – DOLLY 3

The German Spine Study 2: The EPILIFT Exposure Criteria Study

Flight attendants: Mobility-reduced passengers

Office work: Comfortable head position

Findings’ transfer

Networks and cooperations

  • TU Berlin (psychology and work science), TU Darmstadt (ergonomics), TU Dresden (occupational medicine), TU Dortmund (work- and production systems), Univ. Düsseldorf (work- and social medicine; biometrics and epidemiology), Univ. Frankfurt (occupational medicine), Univ. Halle/Wittenberg (medical epidemiology), FH Münster (physical technics), Univ. Regensburg (orthopedics), Univ. Tübingen (occupational medicine)
  • BAuA (Dortmund, Berlin), Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (Sankt Augustin, Berlin), Institut für Arbeitsschutz IFA (Sankt Augustin), Evonik Industries (Essen)
  • BG Verkehr (Hamburg), BG Gesundheitsdienst u. Wohlfahrtspflege (Hamburg, Mainz), BG Metall (Mainz), BG Handel u. Warendistribution (Mannheim)
  • Deutsche Lufthansa (Frankfurt a.M.), Freiburger Forschungsstelle f. Arbeits- und Sozialmedizin, ArbMedErgo (Hamburg), EB Steinberg (Berlin), Forum fBB (Hamburg), Landesgewerbearzt (Wiesbaden), Volkswagen (Wolfsburg), ASER (Wuppertal), AUDI (Neckarsulm)
  • Locomotion (Bennekom/NL), Budapest Univ. of Technology/Hungary, Loughborough Univ./U.K. (Dept. of Human Sciences), ArjoHuntleigh (Lund/Sweden), Univ. Mailand/Italy (Clinica del Lavoro), Wessex Institute (Southampton/U.K.), Institute of Occup. Health, Turku/Finland (Health Care and Social Services), ETH Zürich/Switzerland (Gesundheitswissenschaften u. Technologie)