Bilbao, July 15 – La European campaign 2020/2022 “Safe and healthy jobs. Let’s ease the burden!”, As mentioned in the space for future generations, he also talks a lot about the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (DMS) between i Childrenthe Adolescents and among young people who are or will be in the active working class population.
And in the treatment of future generations, he focuses on the dissemination of appropriate practices, of physical well-being and in the field of prevention of musculoskeletal disorders, including Schools.
In this regard, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has promoted the development of many relevant documents, for instance by sharing experiences – Finnish, Hungarian and Austrian – for an “active school culture”. have got. And a document then focuses on Problems between teachers Provide prevention guidelines for this poorly studied working group.
We therefore focus on the contribution “Musculoskeletal disorders in teachers and assistants“(Musculoskeletal disorders in teachers and teaching assistants) published online at OSHwikia space developed by EU-OSHA to enable the sharing of knowledge, information and best practices on occupational safety and health (OSH).
The article focuses on the following topics:
DMS among teachers: causal factors can favor them
The document recalls that, although much evidence shows that good musculoskeletal health underscores a person’s ability to live and work well, musculoskeletal disorders have often been overlooked and underreported in education workers in recent years.
The contribution focuses on what is possible causal factors can favor DMS.
- Inconvenient working positions (including sitting in a highchair, bending tables, kneeling, standing for a long time, sitting for a long time, …)
- Inconvenient lifting and movement of equipment and / or small children (during classroom activities, outdoor play, physical education or carrying books).
- Psychosocial Themes (including workload, mental health, job satisfaction or conflict, stress, work-life balance).
It is then stated that additional risk factors for teachers I am:
- Physical inactivity – Physical activity maintains and improves the strength and flexibility of the muscles and joints of the body, improves circulation and the associated joint and muscle nutrition, maintains and improves balance to reduce the risk of falls and emotional well-being to improve, all factors contributing to musculoskeletal health.
- Unhealthy work environment – The design and physical environment of a healthy workplace includes ergonomics, movement, rest areas and taking into account noise, lighting, temperature and air quality. It is a particular challenge to address the ergonomic demands of adult workers on the learning needs of children, particularly in low-altitude “child height” environments. It should be remembered that the “perception of inadequate infrastructures” (noise, lighting, temperature, cleanliness, ventilation, dimensions and facilities) is most often reported by primary school teachers.
- Alter – Increasing the duration of work activity is a strong predictor of the increase in MSDs among teachers. And teachers are working longer than retirement age.
- High body mass index – Being overweight increases the load on the musculoskeletal system of the body and obesity increases the risk of developing knee arthritis.
- Vitamin D and Calcium Deficiency Vitamin D and calcium are needed for bone health. A deficiency can cause a reduction in bone mineral density, which increases the risk of falling fractures (one of the most serious musculoskeletal problems in the elderly population).
- Smoking – In the general population, smokers and former smokers experience 60% more back, neck and leg pain and a 114% increase in lower back disability. Smoking lowers bone mineral density, especially in postmenopausal women. It is associated with more bone fractures, slower healing, and an up to 40% increased risk of hip fractures in men.
The good news is that most musculoskeletal disorders can be prevented, symptoms alleviated, and healing can be aided by early intervention, adequate treatment, and musculoskeletal health management, which also includes appropriate occupational safety and health systems.
DMS among teachers: a guide to risk prevention
The contribution also reports a brief Guide to MSD Prevention for teachers.
Various measures are proposed that can help effectively manage musculoskeletal disorders in schools. We report some of them referring readers to a complete reading of the contribution to OSHwiki.
It is possible one healthier work environmentfor example from:
- Seats, furnishings and equipment
- It is necessary to provide safe and adequate seats to the needs of the staff.
- The health and safety of professionals must be taken into consideration when buying new seats, furniture and equipment.
- The seats, furniture and equipment are in good condition and meet the health and safety requirements.
- Seats, furniture and equipment are inspected and maintained at regular intervals, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and maintenance plans.
- Manual handling equipment is provided and used appropriately by the staff.
- Unsafe equipment is removed immediately from the service and reported to a contact person.
- Furniture and equipment are securely stored, with free access, to minimize people’s lives, transportation, and difficult attitudes.
- Appropriate storage solutions are considered and used whenever possible.
- Workplace design
- Employees have access to desks and chairs at eye level;
- Operators’ work positions are taken into account and equipment is provided to support child-level work.
- The floors are smooth, unobstructed and well-lit, and the doors are accessible.
- The independence of the children is encouraged to gain access to their own resources and equipment, especially when eating out.
- Exercise, breaks and hydration are encouraged throughout the day.
- The organization of the lesson plans allows the children to be as independent as possible.
- Employees are consulted about their seating needs and the setting up of workstations and classrooms.
- Consultations for the design and construction of new facilities include the occupational health and safety needs of the operators.
Do Operator safety it also depends on:
- Regular and specific training is provided through manual handling and postural awareness for employees.
- Training on VDUs is provided for operators who regularly work on computers or mobile devices.
- Teachers and teaching assistants need to be aware of the risks of MSD in their workplace and how to reduce it (in the classroom, outdoors and on the computer).
- Operators know how to perform routine security checks on mobile and security equipment and report any errors.
- Teachers and teaching assistants are competent and can do their job safely for themselves and others.
- Practitioners know how to recognize and report early symptoms of MSD ill health through a clear reporting system and are encouraged by school management.
- Healthy lifestyles are encouraged and initiatives are supported
DMS among teachers: Collaborative and multidimensional approach
Finally, the contribution concluded, an increased focus on workplace health is a successful business strategy to improve employee health and the quality of the work environment. In the education sector, the occupational health interventions of teachers and teaching assistants also improve the learning experiences and academic achievement of children and adolescents.
However, holistic DMS management requires a integrated approach recognizing physical, social and emotional influences and focusing on prevention and early intervention.
Especially a effective collaborative and multidimensional approach includes: Health promotion interventions across schools, better education of educators and health and ergonomics of MSDs, connect with school planners and occupational health professors to improve learning environment and education, raise awareness of the risks of musculoskeletal disorders and health lifestyle initiatives Employees in the education sector.
In conclusion, we refer to the complete reading of the document, which contains further information and details on the management of DMS in school and teacher activities.
The link to the campaign website “Healthy and safe working environment. Let’s ease the burden!”
Download the document from which the article is taken:
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, document “Musculoskeletal Disorders in Teachers and Teaching Assistants”, edited by Lorna Taylor, Physiotherapist, Jolly Back – OSHWiki.