New software protects from illness at the workplace

The Institute for Labour Science at the Darmstadt University (IAD) in co-operation with the Institute for ergonomics and design at the Technical University in Essen has developed a software by which users are able to detect health hazards in their work place. But the software is able to do even more: it gives an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses to the user as well as recommendations on how to avoid his or her weak points.

At the heart of the research work in which psychologists, medics, ergonomists and designers were involved were topics such as lifting and carrying of heavy stocks as well as stress. The software developed by the IAD gives information on these issues and even calculates a personal profile and individual solutions for every user.

Application of this software is to reduce the number of staff away sick by enabling them to work in a more healthy and ergonomic way. This is particularly important given to the fact that there are more and more elderly employees. At the same time, employees using this software could also inform themselves on the burdens to which other occupational categories are exposed and thereby assess their individual risk more objectively.

Given that the project is financed by North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Union the software is available for free-of-charge download (for Windows XP and Mac). GERMAN