Guidance document for the avoidance of musculoskeletal stress amongst interior designers

Project No. BGIA 4124


completed 08/2006


Those working in the interior design trade may be exposed to high stresses upon the musculo-skeletal system as a result of activity performed in a kneeling position or involving the manual handling of loads. No guides existed in this area specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which were geared to the tasks of interior designers and contained instructions for the performance of dedicated risk analyses, together with detailed suggestions for the ergonomic structuring of tasks. A guide of this kind was aimed to support the function of primary prevention and thus to enable older employees to remain active in the interior design trade, not least in consideration of the demographic shift. The institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the leather industry wishes to make a guide of this kind available to its member companies, and has assigned the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - BGIA the task of producing it.


Based upon a study, conducted by the industrial medical service, of the exposure situation in the interior design trade, existing information was first to be gathered on examples of the prevention of exposure resulting from manual load handling and activity in a kneeling position. In addition, a literature survey was to identify further approaches for behavioural and environmental prevention in the interior design trade, which were to be summarized in a guide.


The information upon which a comprehensive guide is to be based is presented in a BGIA report dealing with the following aspects: the effects of typical forms of exposure in the interior design trade upon the musculo-skeletal system; specific instruments for risk analysis; and specific examples of behavioural and environmental preventive health approaches in the interior design trade, in particular the creation of a catalogue of remedial exercises.
Following an implementation and evaluation phase in the field, brief guides limited to specific aspects are to be condensed from the BGIA Report by the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the leather industry, revised if necessary, and made available to the businesses.

Further informations:

Last Update:

26 Feb 2007


Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitsschutz - BGIA
Type of hazard:

Arbeitsbedingte Gesundheitsgefahren, Mechanische Gefährdungen, Gestaltung von Arbeit und Technik


Arbeitsplatzgestaltung, Belastung, Demographie

Description, key words:

interior designers, musculoskeletal stress, work in a kneeling position, spinal stress, ergonomic workplace design, guidance document, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), hazard assessment, age