Throughout the world of work, cyber-physical systems and digital networking are giving rise to new forms of work. These include changes in the length of people's working lives, and new employment arrangements and structures. These dynamic developments are grouped under the term "Work 4.0". This process presents both opportunities and challenges for the sphere of prevention. Prevention should not only monitor the process, but actively shape it.
Modern further training is no longer limited to traditional contact seminars, but also exploits web-based media for learning purposes. The IAG conducts research and consulting on the use of new learning technologies and teaching methods, and holds seminars and events with a practical focus on topical issues from the world of work. Training for trainers of OSH experts, and seminars and events on innovative training methods ensure that the further training provision always reflects the results of the latest research into education and training.
In its activities, the IAG responds to companies' needs for analysis, assessment and shaping of working conditions. This particularly includes how jobs need to be designed for ageing workers, and also the topical issue of mental stresses at the workplace.
The IAG is working on numerous psychological topics relating to safety and health at work. These include the effects of multitasking, the greater reachability of employees outside working hours, and mobile work.
Owing to demographic change in the European industrialized countries – a subject of much discussion – employees will increasingly have to work longer before retiring. "Remaining fit for work longer" is therefore a prevention goal that is being addressed by the IAG in its activities of research, training and consulting.
Effective and sustainable prevention activity reduces the incidence of accidents, occupational diseases and work-related health hazards in companies. The IAG studies the effectiveness of the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions' prevention measures and how resources can be targeted even more effectively.
The systematic integration of safety and health into work processes translates into better operating results. The IAG conducts research in the area of corporate health management (CHM) and offers seminars and events on the subject.
The consequences of traffic-related accidents result in the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions paying out over €2 billion each year. The prevention of commuting accidents and accidents occurring during business and emergency response journeys is therefore a core topic for the IAG. A traffic simulation facility with complex simulation capability offers considerable scope for use in this area. With its realistic, interactive simulation of traffic situations, the traffic simulator enables factors influencing human driving behaviour and interaction between drivers and other road users to be demonstrated highly effectively.
Since the individuals insured by the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions increasingly work in companies operating worldwide and across national borders, and the equipment used at workplaces may be produced anywhere in the world, prevention is no longer a purely national topic. For these reasons, the IAG is engaged in developments in prevention not only nationally, but also at European and international level.
Institut für Arbeit und Gesundheit der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IAG) Koenigsbruecker Landstrasse 2 D-01109 Dresden