Acting together – with individual responsibility. This maxim has characterized the German occupational safety and health (OSH) system since 2008, and it is against this backdrop that the German federal government, federal states and social accident insurance institutions – working in cooperation with all relevant OSH stakeholders, and in particular employers and employees – set out a coordinated concept for a "Joint German OSH Strategy" (GDA). The joint OSH objectives and fields of action drawn up of under the leadership of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) and subsequently passed by the GDA’s sponsors (the German federal government, federal states and social accident insurance institutions) aim to ensure, improve and promote the safety and health of employees at work and reduce the long-term cost burden on German companies and social security systems.
The central objectives defined for the first GDA period (2008-2012) were OSH improvements targeting reductions in occupational accidents, skin diseases and musculoskeletal diseases. The GDA is in line with the objectives and requirements set by the EU for its member states within the framework of the "Community strategy on health and safety at work (2007-2012)". The German National OSH Conference is a decision-making body in which the sponsors of the GDA develop and deliberate work programmes which are subsequently implemented on a cooperative, task-sharing basis by the German state and social accident insurance institutions together with companies themselves. Success is measured using a goal achievement evaluation method which both monitors and investigates processes. By measuring success in this way it is possible to determine the effectiveness of prevention measures implemented in cooperation with companies within the framework of GDA work programmes. Measurement is carried out on the basis of a standardized set of evaluation criteria including appropriate – and in some cases specially developed – indicators, and is a fundamental element of the GDA strategy.
The second GDA period (2013-2018) is under preparation, and will focus on new objectives: improvements in OSH organization, reductions in work-related health hazards and musculoskeletal diseases; and the protection and strengthening of health amongst employees subjected to work-related mental stress.
Central Prevention Division