An elevated sickness rate with corresponding absences from work has been observed for many years among employees in the German sewing industry. The diseases which primarily occur are musculoskeletal diseases, particularly of the spine and the arm-shoulder system. In the course of a research project launched by the former Lederindustrie-Berufsgenossenschaft and the former Textil- und Bekleidungs-Berufsgenossenschaft and in conjunction with Munich university of applied sciences and Schwan engineering office in Frankfurt, the institute developed an ergonomic model sewing workplace and a practical guide to the ergonomic arrangement of sewing workplaces.
The newly developed ergonomic sewing workplace has since been made available commercially. It met with great acceptance among the sewing operatives who were able to test it in the course of the project. A reduction in the physical workload was measurable.