Germany’s nearly three million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent the backbone of its economy. SMEs make a significant contribution to Germany’s economic and social well-being.
Though deregulation in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) has relieved the strain on companies where OSH requirements are concerned, SMEs are uneasy due to the perceived absence of specific, tailored guidance on practical scenarios. What is more, the looming lack of skilled personnel, longer working lives and demographic change are facing all companies with new challenges. In future, SMEs in particular will need to create working conditions which ensure that their employees remain healthy and effective right up to retirement age if they are to maintain their competitive edge. There is therefore increasing demand amongst SMEs for practical guidelines which are simple and understandable. The "Fit and Healthy in SMEs" series of publications tackles this issue, and offers practical guidance which is tailored to the requirements of SMEs.
Dr Heinz Schmid
Safety and Health Department
Tel.: 02241 231-1389