HANDgerecht – Making trades healthy and demographically appropriate

Below you will find a short summary of the project. For further information please contact the project managers via the contact button on the right side.


As a result of demographic change trade labor is facing some difficult challenges, however there is possibility in this area for creative solutions for the promotion of healthy working conditions. This may assist the employee retention and recruitment, which are seen as essential factors in the demographic orientation of small businesses.

The Institute of Ergonomics of the Technische Universität Darmstadt would like to, in cooperation with the Association of Hessian Chambers of Crafts (JV), the Federal Training Centre of the carpentry and finishing trades (BuBiZA), the Landesinnungsverband the roofing trade Hesse and the Association of color design and building protection Hesse, make a contribution to assist in the demographics-oriented design of these establishments.


The goal of this project, which was started in April of 2014, was to strengthen the business consulting through the further development and combination of existing analytical tools and solutions in order to support small trade businesses in adapting to demographic change.


Therefore, the first step was to come together with member companies of the trade associations of roofing and carpentry trades as well as design companies. Based on the risk assessment, analytical tools were specifically developed for the trades and possible solution approaches to job design and health competence were presented. For this purpose, a survey in the industries mentioned was carried out to better assess the specific support needs for the coping with demographic change. After an in-depth analysis of the stress situations in 15 companies existing analytical tools were industry-specific adapted and further developed. In certain companies trial measures were introduced. This can be activity-based design solutions, specific organization of working time or even strengthening the health competence of employees.


The results and experiences were finally incorporated into an exemplary analysis and design guide, which is then to be made available to other trade companies and can assist operational consultants in the introduction of such measures.