Introduction Since 2011 the Institute for Teachers’ Health (IfL) is responsible for the occupational health of more than 40.000 German teachers. Analysing teachers’ accidents is an important part of everyday work. The aim of the study was to describe accident black spots and type of injuries. We further wanted to identify factors influencing accident severity.
Methods We included accident reports of teachers between August 2011 and July 2014 (three school-years) which occurred at schools in Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany). In case of an accident, teachers fill out an accident report which is forwarded either to the statutory accident insurance or to the IfL. For the present analysis, anonymised data from the two sources were combined. Accidents leading to hospitalisation or ≥4 days of work inability were classified as severe. Logistic regression analysis was applied to identify influencing factors on severity.
Results Altogether, 2,212 accidents were reported in three school-years. Victims were on average 45 years old and mainly female (70.6%). Commuting accidents accounted for 23.5% of all accidents. Most accidents occurred in the gym (18.2%), on the street (17.1%) and in the classroom (14.9%). Accidents were mainly caused by falls (42.6%) and collisions/hits (38.5%). Frequent types of injuries were bruises/concussions (30.4%), strains (26.9%), and ruptures (22.4%). Most affected parts of the body were foot (18.1%), neck/spine (16.0%), and head (15.6%). 34.6% of accidents were classified as severe. Factors influencing severity included age, type of school, commuting accident, place and mechanism of accident, and injury type.
Discussion Prevention of accidents is an important task, since they cause suffering to victims and relatives. Furthermore school lessons are cancelled if substitute teachers are unavailable. Analysing accidents is an important first step, as black spots can be identified and targeted preventive measures can be implemented.
Note The abstract is part of the dissertation of M. Claus