Designing safe, humane workplaces

Current position of the State Committee on the Workplace

Modern workplaces must fulfil a large number of requirements if a company is to achieve overall success. Over and above OSH measures, health protection therefore includes the countering of not only threats of a thermal, physical or working environment-related nature, but also physical and mental stress which could lead to occupational diseases and therefore negatively affect employee health. Health protection also includes the humane design of work and workplaces.

Guidance from the German social accident insurance institutions

With a few exceptions, the new German Ordinance on Workplaces represents a 1:1 adoption of EEC Directive 89/654/EEC (workplace requirements). In its amended version the ordinance replaces the detailed workplace regulations previously included with a set of targets. The day-to-day, in-plant implementation of those targets – which are essentially requirements expressed as prevention targets – is particularly difficult for owners of small and very small businesses. There is therefore significant demand for the consulting services provided by the supervisory authorities established by the federal states and the labour inspectorates run by the German social accident insurance institutions. The drawing up of practical, sector-specific guidelines on the implementation of government workplace legislation which enable companies to achieve greater legal security is already a key area of focus for expert committees at the German social accident insurance institutions.

The practical, sector-specific guidelines now offered by the German social accident insurance institutions cover many of the general requirements included in the new Ordinance on Workplaces, and therefore enable companies to guarantee their legal security.

Contact

Martina Nethen-Samimy
Safety and Health Department
Rules and regulations
Tel.: 02241 231-1127